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September 28, 2018

Eagles' Chris Long donating a quarter of 2018 salary to literacy initiative

Eagles Philanthropy
Chris Long marijuana eagles Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

Newly retired Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long said in an interview he regularly used marijuana during his NFL career to cope with the 'stressors of day-to-day NFL life.'

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will again contribute a portion of his earnings to a charitable cause in 2018.

The Chris Long Foundation will team up with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern Jersey in support of the Read by 4th campaign, a literacy coalition whose goal is to put more books in kids' hands and ensure reading proficiency by 4th grade.

“We are excited to continue our commitment to education this year through the First Quarter for Literacy drive,” Long said in a statement. “We are partnering with United Way and Read by 4th, not only to support their incredible efforts to get kids reading on grade level but also to amplify the message about the importance of early childhood literacy while encouraging others to join the effort."

Long will donate nearly a quarter of his $2.5 million salary this year to support the cause. He and his wife, Megan, will distribute more than 25,000 books for children in underserved neighborhoods to build at-home libraries. They will also fund the creation of six Chris Long Book Nooks, which will serve as neighborhood-based reading areas for families."

The partnership is part of a season-long "First Quarter for Literacy" drive encouraging players from around the NFL to donate to Read by 4th in their own communities. The Longs will match any donation from players around the league up to $25,000.

Former Eagle and current Tampa Bay Bucs defensive lineman Beau Allen already pledged $5,000 for the Tampa area. Long bumped the donation up to $10,000.

The donation comes a year after Long contributed his final 10 game checks to educational equality initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis — the three cities in which he's played pro football.

"Megan and I read to our son every day, and we can’t stand the thought that there are kids right here in Philadelphia and nationwide that don’t have books at home,” Long said. “Our goal since last year has been to do what we can to level the playing field for all kids through education. It is clear that ensuring kids are strong early readers by providing books and educating parents is where we can make a meaningful difference right away.”

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