American Red Cross: “NFL sets philanthropic leadership example”

In his weekend column for The Associated Press, national NFL writer Barry Wilner reported that programs for retired players and various charities are the beneficiaries of money that the NFL collects from fines issued to players and coaches. In addition, Wilner reported, the NFL, its teams and owners gave nearly $200 million to charity in 2009.

“When donations from high-profile organizations like the NFL are publicized, it sets a philanthropic leadership example for others,” said Julie Sell of the American Red Cross.

In January, the NFL gave $500,000 to the American Red Cross for relief aid in Haiti following the devastating earthquake.

“The NFL and NFLPA’s donations have been channeled into direct assistance to a majority of the 1.3 million people left homeless by the earthquake,” Sell said. “While we cannot trace individual donations to specific programs, we can say that their support was extremely valuable in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable Haitians.  Since the earthquake struck, gifts like that from the NFL have empowered the Red Cross to distribute more than 60 million liters of safe drinking water, treat tens of thousands of people in Red Cross field hospitals and mobile clinics, and provide critical financial assistance that will help families meet their immediate needs and restart their businesses.”

NFL director of community affairs David Krichavsky discussed the distribution of fines collected from coaches and players.  “Player fine money is used to support retired player programs, as well as other charitable causes as agreed upon between the NFL and NFL Players Association,” Krichavsky said to The AP.

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