Usually, when you hear about an NFL Player and their charitable work, the first name that tends to be brought up is Houston Texan’s JJ Watt, and for good reason. The man is a beast both on and off the field and his tireless work ethic has made him one of the most charitable players around the NFL. One name you usually don’t hear, and who has been just as charitable, is notorious bad boy Ndamukong Suh.
Not only does he have a reputation as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, but those who know him also know he’s one of the most generous and giving players as well. You read that right, the man known for stomping opposing players in the head, is actually one of the most charitable athletes in the United States in any sport.
Since I previously have done a story on the financial success of Suh, I felt it only fair that I also do one about some of the good things he’s done with the fortune he has EARNED as a player. Suh through his career has amassed more than $130 million dollars in earnings, but more importantly, it’s what he’s been doing with that money that people should be paying attention to.
While Suh may have received an education from the University of Nebraska, it wasn’t simply about what they were giving him, but what he was able to give back, as he donated more than $2.5 million dollars to the University. Two million of that donation went to the strength and conditioning program, with the remaining money going to create an endowed scholarship. He wasn’t done yet though, as he would go on to donate more than 100 iPads to the Nebraska football program to serve as not only the most technologically advanced nameplate but to help in their preparing for the seasons ahead.
It wasn’t just the University of Nebraska that was a recipient of his giving though, as he also found out that his former High School was in desperate need of a new football field, so Suh stepped up and donated the quarter of a million dollars that they needed to get the new field installed.
When Suh found out that the Frederick Douglass College Preparatory Academy for Young Men in Detroit had suffered a break in with all of their equipment, pads, uniforms, and helmets stolen, he didn’t even have to be asked before he put in a call and offered to pay for everything to be replaced, and not only replaced but to ensure it was all delivered prior to their homecoming game.
After he heard about a major football rivalry known as the East LA Classic between Roosevelt High school and Garfield High School in Los Angeles, Suh decided not only to show up to each school and talk to the players, but showed up bearing gifts as he paid to have all new uniforms delivered to every player on both teams.
It isn’t just monetary donations that make Suh, one of the most giving players around the NFL, but also the giving of his time, as he is a regular granter of wishes for the Make A Wish Foundation. Whenever the Foundation calls to let him know that a child has made a wish to meet him, Suh makes it a priority to not only grant the wish but to take the time necessary to make it a day that the kid will never forget.
When he isn’t giving back to his former institutes of learning, and when he’s not busy putting opposing quarterbacks on their backside, you can find Suh running his own charity, the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation. The Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars in school supplies to needy Detroit area students, as well as scholarships for those who choose to continue their education by going to college.
All of this, is in addition to the countless donations he makes to various other charities and organizations that seek him out for donations to aid in their cause and their mission, as well as the endless acts of charity that Suh performs without the media ever knowing because there are no cameras, there isn’t a press release, there isn’t a giant media storm, but simply a man who has decided that with all he’s been blessed with, that it’s his responsibility to give back whenever and however he can.
So the next time someone calls Suh a dirty player or worse, just take it with a grain of salt, as deep down, you know that there’s more to the man than simply his on-field reputation. And at the end of the day, isn’t that really what matters, not what he’s earned, or what he does as a football player, but what he’s able to do with what he’s earned and what he does as a man? I know for me personally, it definitely helps balance out that notorious bad boy persona.