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November 11, 2017

Eagles' Chris Long discusses charity, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres

Eagles defensive end Chris Long sat down with comedian and daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres this week to talk about his charity work and other topics.

On an episode of NBC's The Ellen DeGeneres Show that aired Friday, Long gave viewers a recap of his well-documented work off the field this season. Long is set to donate all 16 of his game checks this year.

Having already pledged his first six game checks to fund two seven-year scholarships for middle school students in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, Long announced last month that he planned to donate his final 10 checks for a campaign promoting educational equality in St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia – the three cities he's called home in his NFL career.

Long told DeGeneres that his father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, and his mother inspired him to start the campaign.

"He didn't have the opportunities I had growing up, and he gave me that through football," Long said of his father. "So I've always tried to give back. ... Football for me, while it's fun, I don't get the fulfillment out of that alone. Selfishly, the charity stuff makes me feel good. (It) makes me feel like I'm not just playing ball, I'm doing something bigger than that.

DeGeneres also asked Long about players who have protested social inequality and police brutality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games.

"Our players are bringing up very valid points. I think as Americans we can all listen," he said, adding that he himself would never kneel because of his work with veterans through the Chris Long Foundation.

"They're trying to improve their communities and America, subsequently."

Long also touched on why he was one of numerous New England Patriots members to not attend a customary ceremony at the White House for Super Bowl winners.

"My man kind of lost me with his campaign," Long said of President Donald Trump. "I don't think I would feel like a real guy if I didn't follow my heart and say, 'That's just not for me.' I think people going is fine. That's not an indictment on them for showing up. But for me, it didn't jive with my personal ideologies and opinions.

And lastly, of course, DeGeneres brought up Long's on-field dance moves, showing a clip of Long celebrating after a sack of Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler in the Eagles' 51-23 blowout win last Sunday.

My D-linemen, they really get a kick out of my dancing," he joked. "I think it's an art form but they think it's laughable."

And to wrap up the segment, DeGeneres surprised the 32-year-old with a $30,000 pledge to Long's campaign as part of her ongoing partnership with Glen Mills' Cheerios to encourage "One Million Acts of Good."