The NFL announced the recipients of the 2021 Legends Impact Grant which recognizes the outstanding and ongoing philanthropic efforts of NFL Legends. Created in 2018, the award is a component of the NFL Foundation’s Player Foundation Grant initiative and supports NFL Legends’ commitment to making their communities healthy, happy, and safe.
NFL Legends Twan Russell, Harry Sydney and Chris Long were selected as the 2021 winners and awarded $50,000, $40,000, and, $30,000, respectively for their foundations.
The winners were selected by a panel of distinguished individuals of the NFL Legends community:
- Warrick Dunn: 3-time Pro Bowler and 2004 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Winner
- Chad Pennington: 2-time NFL Comeback Player of the Year, current head coach at the Sayre School and NFL Legends Community Executive Director
- Will Shields: 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, 12-time Pro Bowler, 3-time First-Team All-Pro and founder of the Will to Succeed Foundation
- Troy Vincent: 5-time Pro Bowler, First-Team All-Pro, 2002 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Winner, 2002 Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year recipient and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations
- Leonard Wheeler: Eight-year NFL defensive back, current public speaker and coach, and NFL Legends Community Executive Director
“NFL Legends continue to positively impact their communities each and every day,” said Alexia Gallagher, NFL Vice President of Philanthropy and Executive Director of the NFL Foundation. “We are proud of their philanthropic endeavors and ongoing efforts to create meaningful change.”
- Founded in 1998, the Russell Education Foundation has maintained the goal of closing the achievement gap for low-income students in South Florida through afterschool and summer learning services.
- Created by Harry Sydney in 2003, My Brother’s Keeper is a male mentoring program in Green Bay, WI. My Brother’s Keeper provides mentoring services to assist individuals in dealing with the hardships of life. Their fundamental goal is to help others live with integrity, respect, and standards.
- The mission of the Chris Long Foundation is to support bright futures for communities and the individuals that make up those communities. The foundation actively participates in and promotes both international and domestic programs focused around clean water, military appreciation, homelessness, and youth.