NFL Owners Players Donate Millions To Charities Amid Virus Scare

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The NFL season won't be starting until next fall - and that's only if the [/news/coronavirus/index.html coronavirus] pandemic permits - but in the meantime both players and owners are giving millions in cash and supplies to their local communities. 
The largest donation was made by Atlanta Falcons boss Arthur Blank, who gave $5.4 million to the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
'As a Family Foundation we have always believed that it is the power of many that will make the greatest impact on the most pressing issues in our society,' Blank said in a statement.
'This is that moment - to join together to truly harness the power of all of us to address a challenge that knows no boundaries and has no precedent in our lifetimes,' added Blank, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank donated $5.4 million for coronavirus relief in the Atlanta area
Blank also made six-figure donations to local schools and police, as well as $100,000 for six non-profits, and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made a $100,000 donation to local charities as well. 
While Blank's check was the biggest, other team owners' six- and seven-figure donations have been announced throughout the week.
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper pledged $2 million to health care providers through his foundation while New Orleans owner Gayle Benson, who also owns the NBA's Pelicans, gave $1 million through her charitable fund.
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Benson's donation comes roughly one year after she gave $3.5 million to the Second Harvest Food Bank. 
Similarly the Los Angeles Chargers donated $250,000 to a local food bank, and the San Francisco 49ers gave $500,000 to help at-risk members of their community as well as their own workforce who may be affected by the pandemic.  
Meanwhile Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross pledged $500,000 for South Florida elderly and youth recovering from coronavirus.
Earlier in the week Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay upheld his obligation after offering to pay $1 million to a local food bank if fans could raise $200,000.
Indiana residents ended up raising over $300,000 in less than 24 hours.
New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson donated $3.5 million to a local food bank last year, and is now adding another $1 million to a COVID-19 relief fund
 Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay challenged fans to raise $200,000 cor coronavirus relief
Colts fans responded to Irsay's challenge by raising over $300,000 in less than 24 hours 
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is giving $2 million to local healthcare providers 
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (right) gave $500,000 to local coronavirus relief charities
'I am so proud of our community and so proud to call Indianapolis home because Hoosiers come together, whether in times of celebration or in times of great need. Today is no different,' Irsay told 'Everyone is being affected in some way by these challenging times, but many of our friends and neighbors are being hit particularly hard. But in our usual Indianapolis way, people are coming together and reaching out to help.
'That's why I challenged those who could afford to give to help make a difference in these upcoming days and weeks,' Irsay continued. 'I send my deepest thanks to everyone who helped push us past $200,000 in donations to Gleaners to help feed those in immediate need, and I am pleased to add more than $1 million to that total.'
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is donating 1 million meals to a Seattle-area food bank
Players are also contributing.
Buffalo Bills center Mitch Morse gave $100,000 to local charities; Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt and his soccer star wife Kealia Ohai are donating $350,000 to local food banks; and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, pop singer Ciara, are providing 1 million meals through [ ], a Western Washington state charity.
Washington state has been particularly hit hard during the pandemic, as 74 people were killed by the respiratory infection as of Thursday evening.
'Obviously this world-wide pandemic, the coronavirus, is changing the world, second by second, minute by minute,' Wilson said in a social media video. 'People are losing loved ones.' 
Given that the NFL season only ended recently, the league has not been hit too hard by the pandemic. The commissioner's office did enact a travel ban, which has significantly affected the pre-draft process as well as free agent signings. 
Next month's draft is still expected to proceed in Las Vegas, but all public events have been cancelled. 
Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt and his soccer star wife Kealia Ohai are donating $350,000 to local food banks 


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