Saints tight end Benjamin Watson announced last week that he will retire at the end of the season and the response to that news noted the impact that Watson has made off the field in addition to what he’s done on it over the course of his 15-year NFL career.
That off-field work was also recognized by the NFLPA this week. The union named Watson as this week’s Community MVP in recognition of his “Freedom Friday” campaign. Watson made donations of $5,000 to 15 different charities including the International Justice Mission and World Vision and made appeals each Friday for others to join him.
The efforts resulted in over $100,000 in support for the chosen organizations.
“With so many players working for the betterment of their communities, it is an honor to be named NFLPA Community MVP this week,” Watson said in a statement. “As a husband, father, teammate and citizen, my mission is to use the time, talent and treasure God has given me to love and serve those in need, be a voice for the voiceless, and stand for justice and truth.”
Watson will receive $10,000 from the NFLPA for his foundation or a charity of his choice. He and all the other weekly winners will be eligible for the Alan Page Community Award at the end of the season.