Community Player of the Week: Chris Long

Posted Nov 28, 2015

The St. Louis Rams announced defensive end Chris Long as the team’s Community Player of the Week for Week 12.

The St. Louis Rams announced defensive end Chris Long as the team’s Community Player of the Week for week 11 in recognition of his community outreach efforts throughout the season.
“It feels really good to be named community player of the week,” Long said. “We have a lot of great guys doing a lot of great work in the community in St. Louis, so it’s a great honor.”

This offseason, Long launched The Chris Long Foundation and its signature Waterboys Initiative. In 2013, Long traveled to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. While there, Long was awestruck by the landscape of the country, but also how much the country’s citizens suffered from not having clean drinking water. After meeting with WorldServe International, one of the region’s largest providers in clean water, Long set in place the framework for the Waterboys, with the ultimate goal of building 32 clean water wells in Tanzania, one for each NFL team.

“It’s more than just drinking water though,” Long said. “It’s people that aren’t dying because of waterborne illnesses. It’s agricultural and educational. Kids are going to school more and spending more time in the classroom rather than being sick. Just the overall efficiency of that community is improving.”

Since starting in May, Long has already made significant strides in Tanzania and countries in East Africa. Long has campaigned in every NFL locker room, trying to get a member of every team to buy into the initiative. It’s been well received as 22 NFL players have stepped forward to represent their teams as their official “Waterboy.”

“Since the summer, we’ve raised more than $400,000 and that’s going to provide funds for nearly 10 wells,” Long said. “The goal is to get to 32 wells and we’re not there yet, but I think next year, that’s a realistic goal.”

Beyond his Foundation efforts, for the fourth consecutive year Long served as the honorary chairman for Holiday Mail for Heroes, a partnership between the Rams and the American Red Cross to provide holiday cards for veterans and active military members both domestic and abroad. The Rams’ October staff day of service was dedicated to creating Holiday Mail for Hero cards at two St. Louis area schools, and fans were invited to participate during the team’s Salute to Service game. In total, more than 5,000 cards will be distributed to servicemen and women.

Long also recently visited a local high school as part of an anti cyber bullying effort known as #StartsWithUs.  Long helped launch the effort last year with the Rams and CharacterPlus to raise awareness about cyber bullying and to encourage students to instead spread kindness through social media.

About the Rams Community Player of the Week

Each week during the 2015 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams Community Player of the Week is brought to you by the Rams Official Community Partner and Technology Solution Provider, Perficient.