For Immediate Release
December 27, 2019
Media Contact: Brandon Parker | Communications Manager
Brandon.Parker@nflpa.com | 202-756-9160
NEW YORK'S BRANDON COPELAND NAMED WEEK 16 NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Brandon Copeland has been named Week 16 NFLPA Community MVP after teaming up with players across the league to host holiday shopping sprees for more than 300 underprivileged kids.
“I am honored to be recognized for this, as I know a lot of my brothers in the NFL are also doing amazing work in the community across the country all year long,” the New York Jets linebacker said. “I’m also humbled to have former and current teammates who have become friends and made this cross-country community effort possible.”
Coined a “December To Remember,” Copeland put a twist on his annual Christmas event by enlisting the help of 11 other NFL players (active and former): Josh Bynes, Joel Gamble, Duron Harmon, Kerry Hyder, Cam Lynch, Devin & Jason McCourty, Kevin Minter, Kyle Van Noy, Tahir Whitehead and Avery Williamson.
The collection of athletes, whom Copeland has gotten to know during his five-year career, hosted seven different holiday shopping sprees in New York/New Jersey, Tampa, Baltimore, Dallas, Boston and Oakland on December 16, 17 and 20.
The Jets defender kicked things off with a pizza party, during which he surprised 101 kids in the New York/New Jersey area each with a $200 gift card. Through Copeland’s Beyond The Basics foundation, his NFL friends were able to follow suit, ultimately providing gift cards to more than 300 foster and less fortunate children across the country.
“My motivation behind the December To Remember spree is to hopefully lay the groundwork for a collaborative annual spree among players in the NFL to reach as many deserving kids as possible,” Copeland said.
This event is one of several hosted by Copeland’s Beyond The Basics non-profit, which works to empower young individuals to maximize their potential by exposing them to enriching experiences, opportunities and people. Earlier this year, Copeland held his fourth annual youth football camp in Baltimore. The 400-plus participants not only learned about the sport but also about the importance of giving back by packing 1,000 book bags with school supplies and hygiene kits. In March, Copeland plans to host The Basketball Classic: Celebrity Edition at Barclays Center. The event is meant to fill the stands with people who may not be able to afford to attend an event at the arena so that they can enjoy the charity game as well as a Brooklyn Nets game that same evening.
In honor of Copeland being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution tohis Beyond The Basics foundation. Also, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign in his name called Tackling Exploitations to benefit Beyond The Basics. Donors can pledge contributions for every tackle recorded by Copeland this season, or they can make a flat donation at pledgeit.org/brandoncopeland.
Copeland, along with the other 2019 Community MVPs, will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their local communities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit nflpa.com/community-mvp to read more about the program.
2019 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 0: Derrick Nnadi, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 1: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Week 2: Rashaad Coward, Chicago Bears
Week 3: Lonnie Johnson, Houston Texans
Week 4: Calais Campbell, Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 5: Brandon Carr, Baltimore Ravens
Week 6: Deatrich Wise JR. New England Patriots
Week 7: Dustin Colquitt, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 8: Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints
Week 9: Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 10: Kelvin Beachum, New York Jets
Week 11: Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers
Week 12: Mark Barron, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 15: Geno Atkins, Cincinnati Bengals
About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.
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