With the launch of his new foundation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy continues to demonstrate his commitment to giving back. A nine-year NFL veteran who has made the NFL All-Pro team three-times and Pro Bowl six times, McCoy credits his parents, both formerly youth preachers in the Oklahoma City area, for teaching him about the importance of serving the community and helping those in need.
"Giving back is just something that's in you and my parents are the reason it's in me," states McCoy. "One thing they really imparted on me was being selfless. They were always concerned with how we could help somebody else out or make life for other people a little bit easier. I still feel like that's a part of who I am.”
To honor his late mother, McCoy started the Patricia Diane Foundation in late 2018. The organization assists single-parent families in the Tampa Bay area with resources to help them conquer daily obstacles and enhance their quality of life. A big fan of fictional superheroes, McCoy considers single parents real-life superheroes because of their ability to overcome overwhelming challenges in order to provide for their families.
For one of the foundation’s first sponsored events, McCoy and his wife, Ebony, decorated Christmas trees and provided a festive meal for 40 single-parent families from the Tampa Bay community at the Buccaneers training facility during their sixth annual “McCoy Family Christmas.” Making the experience even more memorable, the McCoys left wrapped gifts under the tree for the families in attendance.
As a reward for his efforts, McCoy earned the Week 14 NFLPA Community MVP last season. His team also selected him as their 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. McCoy’s philanthropic endeavors started long before his foundation launched though. Since joining the NFL in 2010, McCoy has hosted community events such as movie screenings, Thanksgiving dinners for families in need and his McCoy Family Christmas event.
In addition, he is a volunteer for the player-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Board, which included a visit this past December to the Zephyrhills Correctional Institute where he and fellow teammates inspired and uplifted inmates through faith-based discussions. McCoy also actively uses social media to raise awareness and generate support for the causes important to him.