On July 9, recently retired NFL player Chris Long received ESPN’s 2019 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on the eve of the ESPYs . Long earned the award for "his commitment to giving back through strategic, multifaceted efforts," joining the ranks of past winners including Kevin Durant (2018) and Tamika Catchings (2015).
Long edged out several other award finalists, including NBA free agent Reggie Bullock, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and tennis star Sloane Stephens.
A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Philadelphia Eagles (2018) and New England Patriots (2017), Long carries out much of his philanthropic work through the Chris Long Foundation, which focuses on clean water access, criminal justice reform, support for veterans and more. Long’s Waterboys initiative to bring clean water to East Africa and the United States has also drawn support from fellow athletes, such as NBA player Malcom Brogdon.
Long is no stranger to recognition for his impressive charitable efforts. Below are just a few recent highlights to which he can now add his Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award:
2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year — NFL
2018 Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP — NFL Players Association
2018 Outstanding Public Service in Professional Sports — Jefferson Awards Foundation
With separate award categories to honor individual athletes, teams, leagues and corporations, ESPN launched the Sports Humanitarian Awards in 2015. The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award honors athletes generating “measured positive impact on their community through sports.”