Fall 2021 SS Magazine

NFL Players Team Up To Bring Clean Water To East Africa

Today is World Water Day. According to UN.org, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home. Many people spend countless hours traveling long distances just to get water to have for their family. Without clean water, there are large health implications that come to families and those that are drinking contaminated water.

But there is hope.

Countless charities like Charity Water, Big League Impact and Water.org are bringing awareness to this epidemic that exists across the world. Many people who would otherwise have been without clean water, now have that chance to live with the basic necessity that we all take for granted here in the United States.

NFL defensive lineman Chris Long won a Super Bowl in February with the New England Patriots. Much like his passion on the field to sack quarterbacks, Chris is taking that passion off the field and using his platform to help those that are in need with his foundation and the creation of Waterboys.

Chris’ hope is to simply bring clean water to Africa by digging wells. Through his Waterboys initiative, Long has assembled a team with a goal to provide affected communities with clean, safe and sustainable water access by hiring local crews to drill deep borehole wells serving up to 7,500 people.

Chris has gotten his NFL brethren involved to help him raise awareness and funds. Players such as Anquan Boldin, Connor Barwin, Chris’ brother Kyle Long and many other players are all a part of the Waterboys initiative. Chris has a fundraising rank page where you can track how the players are doing in their efforts.

Long’s goal to raise money and awareness is something he is truly passionate about. “I’m using the platform I’ve been afforded as a professional athlete to help provide clean water to the people in critical need,” Chris said on his website. “We are inviting as many NFL players and fans as possible to join us in our efforts to bring clean water to this country.”

Courtesy: Waterboys.org

UCLA head football coach Jim Mora recently took a trip to East Africa (as told to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman) and saw the wonderful results that providing a well and clean water can have on a community.

“We live in a bubble and we’re so entitled,” Mora told Fox Sports. “I coach a lot of young men who come from really disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet in comparison to what these people have, I don’t have one kid who comes from a ‘disadvantaged background.’ They have challenges. But no matter how disadvantaged we think we are, we’re not.”

Courtesy: Jim Mora/Waterboys.org

For more info on how you can get involved and help, check out Chris Long’s charity page at Waterboys.org.