There was a time, not too long ago, that Ugo Amadi would take the field at Autzen Stadium or Lumen Field to the bustling chants and deafening hoots of the fans around him.
But after the coronavirus pandemic turned everyone’s world upside down as we know it, those same stadiums that were once filled with raucous fans became empty. While the impact of fans couldn’t be seen or heard, Amadi wanted to make sure his impact could still be felt.
Last July, the third-year NFL player passed out lunches to employees at a local VA hospital in the Nashville area, to express his gratitude to the workers risking their lives on the frontlines during the pandemic.
“I was able to work with my sister at her job at the veteran’s hospital and I was able to give them food during the pandemic,” Amadi told Justin Myers on NBC Sports Northwest’s The Bridge. “They were working overtime hours, and I felt like that was huge for them to have a meal on me.”
Now, the Nashville native is giving back in a big way again. This time, to youth in the community. The Seahawks safety handed out 375 pairs of brand new Nikes to students at Rose Park Middle School.
“I know during this pandemic, it’s tough to keep your friends close and your family even closer, and that’s what brought me to the idea of giving back to my community in a low-income area, giving shoes to all the kids,” Amadi said. “It was just such an ecstatic feeling to see these kids so joyful about having brand new pairs of shoes gifted to them...
Amadi wasn’t alone in surprising Nashville-area students. There were plenty of smiling faces when 20 of his NFL friends including George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson and Derek Barnett showed up as well.
“It was like Christmas came early for the kids," Amadi added. "It was a big event for the whole community. All the people loved it.”