Ryan Switzer Kicks Off Charity Drive in Response to Social Media Criticism

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Ryan Switzer recently squashed a feud with 93.7 The Fan radio show host Colin Dunlap by starting a charity to support oncology programs at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. On November 23, Switzer created a charitable initiative called the Ryan Switzer Reception Challenge and has since raised more than $10,000.

Photo: Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports

The feud began when Dunlap tweeted in response to Switzer being the target receiver in the final play of the Week 11 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dunlap expressed his difference of opinion with the decision, tweeting "So the plan was to throw to Switzer? Yikes."

Switzer responded back to Dunlap's criticism, voicing his own discontent with Dunlap’s choice of words, tweeting "You and I both know you have some quarrel with me. It's fine. I apologize for whatever it is I upset you with. Just keep it professional, please. The "yikes" in your tweet was unnecessary. You're applying I am not good at what I do. Which I am. I don't speak on your profession."

Dunlap assured Switzer his tweet wasn’t personal and suggested a peaceful solution by offering a $20 donation ($500 minimum) for every one of Switzer’s receptions for the rest of the season. He also gave Switzer the chance to pick the supported charity.

Switzer “doubled down” on Dunlap’s idea and pledged $40 per catch, choosing to support the oncology programs at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Dunlap’s daughter is being treated for leukemia. Steelers linebacker TJ Watt was also eager to participate upon hearing about the challenge, tweeting out his support for the initiative and pledging his own donation.

Switzer, Dunlap and the Ryan Switzer Reception Challenge are yet another example of how sport and those involved on and off the field can come together for the common good. The initiative has raised over $10,000 through just two games. With five more regular season games, Switzer, Dunlap and the Pittsburgh Steelers community are set to continue giving support to the UPMC Children’s Hospital for weeks to come. You can find more information about the Ryan Switzer Reception Challenge and make a donation of your own here.

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