Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth recently joined Merging Vets and Players (MVP) and others including Jay Glazer, Michael Strahan, Tony Gonzalez, Dean Cain and Chamique Holdsclaw for a virtual fundraiser to raise $100,000 for veterans and athletes impacted by COVID-19.
"We want to make a special impact in our community for these warriors," Whitworth told Nate Boyer, a United States Army Green Beret, former NFL player and MVP co-founder, who served as the host of MVP's virtual fundraiser. "Let's make this special. Let's make a difference."
MVP utilizes physical fitness and peer support to help combat veterans and former professional athletes in their transition to everyday life after the uniforms come off. As a result of the pandemic, they've had to shift to improving lives through a virtual platform. Within a month of online sessions, MVP has helped aid and serve 1,000 individuals affected by COVID-19.
"We are going to have to walk beside each other in the same direction pulling together. All of us can do it," said Whitworth. "It's not going to take one individual. It's going to take all of us together. We are only as strong as the unit and the group."
Whitworth has supported MVP throughout his career. Last season during the Rams' Salute to Service Week, the team invited a group of veterans to the team practice facility to participate in a workout with Whitworth and members of the Rams practice squad. Following the workout, Whitworth led a group discussion and invited veterans and players to discuss the transition from active duty back to civilian life as well as life after football. In 2018, Whitworth also surprised two MVP veterans with a trip to the Super Bowl.
Merging Vets and Player's (MVP) is a national nonprofit founded in 2015 by Fox Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer and former Green Beret and Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer.
If you are interested in donating to MVP's COVID-19 efforts, please visit www.vetsandplayers.org
For more information about the Rams' COVID-19 relief efforts and community outreach programs, please visit https://www.therams.com/stay-home-stay-safe