Even in the dead of the NFL offseason, there is NFL news.
On Thursday, the NFL announced Jameis Winston is officially suspended for the first three games of the 2018 regular season. He will not appeal that suspension, which will see him miss games against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers. In addition to missing the first three games of the season, Winston will be required to obtain a clinical evaluation and cooperate in any recommended program of therapeutic intervention, according to the NFL. In reality, we’re wondering how his suspension wasn’t worse.
In other not-great news, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was fined $2.75 million following accusations of making sexually and racially inappropriate comments. Richardson is on his way out as the owner of the Panthers as the franchise was purchased by David Tepper in May. The sale of the team is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.
The NFL’s lead investigator in the Richardson case, Mary Jo White, said the NFL “identified no information that would either discredit the claims made or that would undermine the veracity of the employees who have made those claims.”
The only positive takeaway here is that the $2.75 million will go to organizations that address gender- and race-based issues in the workplace. Beauty for Ashes Ministry, Inc., Black Women’s Blueprint, and Women of Color Network, Inc. will be among the recipients of the money.
To offset that bad news, there were a number of really positive stories about NFL players that came to light on Thursday.
Washington cornerback Josh Norman and Saints linebacker Demario Davis delivered care packages to children detained at the Texas border. They went on a 3 a.m. shopping spree at Walmart where they bought as many toys as possible and then brought them to children who had been separated from their parents and detained by border control. No matter your NFL team or how you feel about Norman and Davis as NFL players, this is an incredible gesture.
Another Saints player was also making headlines for the right reasons as Mark Ingram was awarded the 2018 Ballington and Maud Booth Award by the Volunteers of America.
Meanwhile, Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell has been busy reading to children as part of the “Read with Malcolm” initiative. Mitchell recently wrote a children’s book and is contracted to write two more for Scholastic! Learn more about “Read with Malcolm,” here.
And, that’s not all. Jaguars defensive tackle Macell Dareus just got back from Haiti, where work is underway on a three-classroom building being built in Dareus’ name. Dareus’ foundation donated $125,000 toward the effort in addition to $25,000 he donated last year for Hope for Haiti. This was Dareus’ second straight offseason traveling to Haiti on humanitarian visits. Similarly, Bengals running back Giovani Bernard has been traveling to Haiti during the NFL offseasons to provide help in his hometown of Tabarre. This year, Bernard worked on providing a water purification system in town and brought along Bengals teammate Nick Vigil and some friends to help, too.
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Tweet of the Day
Former NFL running back Isaiah Pead had his leg amputated in November 2016 after suffering an injury in a car crash. While his days in the NFL are over, Pead now has a prosthetic leg and is training for the Paralympics. It’s incredibly inspiring watching his progress, which can be seen in the Tweet linked below.