Richard Sherman was named the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP on Friday just days after he helped a youth football team from Compton raise enough money to participate in a national tournament in Florida.
Sherman donated $5,000, and the attention he brought to the team enabled the group to raise twice as much as its $15,000 goal. He also was recognized for restocking shelves at three food banks in Washington.
The weekly Community MVP winners will also become eligible for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA awards to a player. The NFLPA makes a $10,000 donation to the foundation or charity of choice of all players who win the weekly award.
Sherman said the reason he chose to support the youth football team was because of a requirement that each player on the six-and-under squad had to achieve good grades in order to be on the team.
“I think the thing about the youth football team that jumped out was the 3.1 GPA that they needed to be on the team,” said Sherman, who finished second in his class at Dominguez High School in Compton. “I think when any organization, especially sports, focuses on academics first, I can get behind that. I think academics will take you further than sports will ever take you, and I think at the end of the day, there’s no limit to the amount of information that you can attain as a person and how smart you can get and how much intelligence you can achieve.
“Your athletic ability can peak. You can hit a ceiling. How fast, how strong, how big, you know, how much you are able to do in a career. But in terms of attaining information and intelligence in the world of academia, I don’t think there’s a limit. I think encouraging those kids to get their education and focus on that early is something that I respect a ton.”