Given the news lately, it's natural to think the NFL is overrun with baddies. Not all are like Ray Rice, Manny Ramirez, Ben Roethlisberger, Donte Stallworth and others like them who can’t control their emotions.
But let’s face it. Nothing is either completely good or bad. Bad news makes the headlines, evokes sadness, shock and anger and it tends to stay with us longer.
But in the world of football, there are stories of hope and kindness with the likes of the Cincinnati Bengals who came together to help a fellow mate so selflessly.
It’s not just about being good to each other. There are many NFL players who are nothing short of Santa when it comes to good deeds -- helping people, making their dreams come true and in short just giving back to the world whole heartedly.
Their stories seem to be lost among the bad guys.
Here are some of NFL’s most generous players.
Ironically, the first name in the list is that of Jason Witten. Through his SCORE Foundation, he helps to provide trained male mentors in battered women’s shelters and positive male mentorship for families who deal with abuse across Dallas, Texas.
Lest you think, that’s where it stops; the SCORE Foundation not only teamed with supermarket chain Albertsons to fund and renovate the learning center at a Dallas-area Boys and Girls Club, but also dedicated another center at a Boys and Girls Club in East Dallas.
Russell Wilson says he doesn’t try to be a role model but his track record in kindness and generosity makes him one regardless.
For every touchdown he scored last season, The Seahawks’ quarterback donated $2,000 to his charity, The Power of Mind Foundation.
After a visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital in 2012, he promised that he would pay patients a visit every Tuesday when he’s in town and that’s exactly what he does.
Bret Lockett is not only a great animal lover but makes the effort to create awareness about animal cruelty as well. He is one of the prominent activists supporting of PETA.
“What really hurt me was when I saw that an animal was still able to move and lift its head up after it was completely skinned,” he says. “It brought tears to my eyes.”
Former 49ers defender and Kerry Washington's husband established Asomugha Foundation, an organization that provides aid to widows and children in United States and Nigeria.
The foundation was established in 2010 “with a desire to have positive impact on the disadvantaged youth in the U.S. and the underprivileged orphans and widows in Africa through education and empowerment.”
Apart from his passion for the game, Fletcher feels very strongly about underprivileged youth. So he set up the London's Bridge Foundation in Cleveland, Washington, Charlotte and Buffalo with the mission to support and mentor the youth down on their luck.
Despite being one of the most influential Samoan players of all time, Troy Polamalu hasn’t forgotten his roots and aids his impoverished homeland by funding schools to help further the football.
Not only that he along with the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation works with the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, FOCUSNA Back Pack Feeding Program and the Harry Panos fund that supports veterans.
This NFL giant has a heart made of cotton candy. His yearly Christmas shopping sprees for underprivileged children are legendary.
He gives kids a whole minute and 20 seconds to run through a Toys ‘R’ Us and pick up as many items as they want.
He also loves visiting schools and surprising students with Christmas presents.
Now who’s Santa?