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About NFL donations to player charities

4/5/2011

The NFL donating $1 million to player charities -- including those for NFC West legends Kurt Warner and Steve Young -- wouldn't catch our attention outside the current bitter labor climate.

The league makes such donations annually. It would have been a bigger story if the NFL suddenly cut off those donations to spite the locked out players.

Left unsaid: Fine money the NFL collects from players supports league charities. Pending an audit, it is possible that the league is transferring money from a fined player's wallet to the foundation for the player who absorbed the offending hit.

For example, the league levied a $20,000 fine against Jason Babin last season for a hit against Philip Rivers, whose foundation is now receiving a donation from NFL Charities. The league also fined James Harrison for a hit on Drew Brees, whose foundation is also receiving a donation.

Things to consider when determining how loudly to applaud the league for these charitable efforts.

Update: The NFL says fine money funds charities, but not these charities. I've updated the item to include , "Player Foundation grants come from the funds set aside annually by owners to fund NFL Charities and its grant initiatives (e.g. Medical Research grants, Player Foundation grants, Team Program grants, Impact Grants supporting youth health and fitness programs, etc.). No Player fine money is used to fund Player Foundation grants or any of these grant programs." More here.