National Football League (NFL) star Chris Long on Tuesday announced he will fund two scholarships in his hometown in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Long, a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, also revealed the money for the scholarships will come from the checks for his first six games of the 2017 NFL season.
The professional athlete added that he felt compelled to make the gesture following last month’s violence in Charlottesville.
“In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry,” he said in a statement of him and his wife.
“Megan and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive involvement in our community.”
Some Twitter users on Tuesday praised Long for contributing to Charlottesville after last month’s turmoil there.
Long will promote “equality through education” through the scholarships, which will grant two students a seven-year, all expenses paid school program.
The scholarships will be created and administered by St. Anne’s-Belfield School, an independent boarding and day school for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Long attended St. Anne’s, and the two recipients of his scholarships will be selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.
“The school has an established reputation in the local community for offering quality education that supports high personal aspirations and develops exemplary citizens,” his statement said.
Long played for the University of Virginia (UVA) before entering the NFL in 2008, playing with the St. Louis Rams until 2016.
The New England Patriots fielded Long last year before the team’s Super Bowl win, and he then signed with the Eagles in a two-year contract.
White nationalists traveled to Charlottesville last month to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee there.
The situation turned violent when a car drove into a crowd of people protesting them, killing one and wounding 19 others.
Two Virginia State Police troopers also died in a helicopter crash authorities linked to the unrest in Charlottesville.