There’s still one team Myles Garrett can produce for this NFL season — it just won’t be on a football field.
In the wake of his indefinite suspension for swinging the helmet of Mason Rudolph at the Pittsburgh quarterback’s head in the final seconds of the Browns-Steelers game on Thursday night, Garrett will still participate in Chris Long’s philanthropic endeavor, Waterboys.
Long’s team works to build sustainable deep borehole wells in Tanzania to provide clean water to communities in need. Since founding the organization in 2015, the former defensive end has recruited a stable of professional athletes to assist him in raising money to accomplish that goal.
Garrett is the current captain of the team and has raised more than $25,000.
In a thoughtful statement posted to Twitter, Long announced that while Garrett’s recent actions are indefensible, he shouldn’t be stripped of an opportunity to continue bringing positivity into the world.
“Plain and simple, what Myles Garrett did last night was wrong,” Long wrote. “He knows it, he’s shown contrition and he’s obviously been dealt a stuff punishment. He has a long road ahead to restore his good name that will include and already includes many obstacles. Those obstacles will not include removal from our Waterboys team. He’s already positively impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people through bringing the gift of clean water to communities. When I recruited Myles to Waterboys, I recruited him because of his thoughtfulness, intelligence and a strong desire to help others. Even after last night’s ugly scene, I still believe in Myles. He is a good person who absolutely lost his cool and will deservedly reap the consequences. But those consequences will not include taking away a vehicle for him to continue to do good.”
To date, Waterboys has funded 74 wells — the original stated goal was for 32 wells to represent each NFL franchise — and has brought clean water to more than 300,000 people in need.
Waterboys’ active roster includes Kyle Long, Johnny Hekker, Beau Allen, Ben Garland, Taylor Lewan, Zack Martin and Brett Hundley, and the organization boasts more than 23 NFL players among its alumni.
Garrett has been involved with the program for three years now and the cause clearly means a great deal to him. He’s just over halfway toward meeting his goal to raise $45,000 this season.
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