Remember when the Cincinnati Bengals were the NFL’s poster boys for bad behavior by professional athletes? Neither do we.
In one of many charitable efforts by Bengals stars throughout the year, on Tuesday, Andrew Whitworth, Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones gave out 280 bicycles to students at a local elementary school in Lincoln Heights, Ohio. What initially seemed like a contest where a handful of students would win bikes through an essay contest, the trio of Bengals stars made holiday wishes come true for an entire elementary school just before the holiday.
“I got chills this morning when the kids were in there,” Jones said, via NBC’s WLWT channel 5. “You can’t change every kid, but (for) some of these kids, this will go a long way.”
Unfortunately, both Jones and Burfict have particular reputations because of their past actions, but no one can dispute their contributions in this manner. While the Bengals organization seems to inspire this type of charitable effort among its players, it’s also known that the team has intentionally employed players who are committed to community efforts on their own volition. In that vein, the media’s often-targeted duo of Burfict and Jones have quietly committed themselves to philanthropic actions and this is the second year that they have taken part in bicycle gifting for the local youth.
“Some may get a big Christmas, some may not, but from these three players they all have a brand-new bike, so it’s huge,” Lincoln Heights principal Dawn Bailey said in response to the pre-Christmas celebration.
It’s nice to see Bengals stars helping less fortunate people during what could be a tough holidays season and these philanthropic gestures make a huge impact. Spending time with family and/or friends is a major theme to this time of year, but lending a hand to others should also be another. Just look at the reactions:
It’s also great to see the lengths players go to in an effort to reach out to their surrounding community. NFL players have a giant platform to reach others around the country and it’s great to see some of the higher-profile players using said platform in such a positive way.