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Eagles’ Chris Long again pledges portion of NFL salary to charity

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long has announced he will donate one-quarter of his 2018 annual salary to start a new charity. The pledged amount will be used to launch “First Quarter for Literacy,” which aspires to increase literacy in young children.

“Kids don’t have a choice. Kids don’t pick their parents, they don’t pick their economic background, they don’t pick the neighborhood they grew up in, they don’t pick any of the factors that can hold them back, they don’t pick their school system,” Long said, via ESPN’s Tim McManus. “So [investing in them], it just feels like you’re doing something productive. … I just feel like this is something where you’re going to see results.”

The “First Quarter for Literacy” will be partnering with the United Way in an effort to assist the Read By Fourth campaign in Philadelphia. As part of the launch, Long and wife Megan will distribute more than 25,000 books to set up at-home libraries in neighborhoods where such efforts are most needed.

Additionally, the Longs will match any donation up to $25,000 by a player from an opposing team on the Eagles’ season schedule who would distribute books in their respective communities.

Last season, Long donated his entire 2017 salary to launch Pledge 10 for Tomorrow, “a campaign that will promote educational equity and opportunity for underserved youth in the three NFL cities he’s played in – Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis.” That generosity even caught the eye of former President Barack Obama, who praised Long for the inspirational charitable act.

Long is set to earn $2.5 million in base salary in 2018, meaning he has pledged approximately $400,000, after taxes, to the new charity.

“I just feel like when you tie in football, which people are crazy about, to a cause that maybe people aren’t as aware of, and use your platform to educate people on some of the dire needs we have, you get them excited and they give,” Long said. “That’s what happened last year, and hopefully it happens this year.”