It’s one thing to play into your 40s as a quarterback. It’s another thing entirely to enter your 40s as an offensive tackle and continue your NFL career.
But that’s what makes Andrew Whitworth unique. And it isn’t the only thing.
Days after the 38-year-old left tackle signed a three-year contract with the Rams to continue his 14-year career, the former West Monroe blue-chipper and LSU All-American teamed up with quarterback Jared Goff to partner with the Los Angeles Regional Food bank and fund 2 million meals.
“Tough times, like what we’re experiencing now, really show you the true value and importance of community,” Whitworth told . “We’re here to wrap our arms around our hurting neighbors, let them know that they aren’t forgotten, and that we are here for them.”
With so much negativity circulating the news front amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great to see professional athletes like Whitworth pave the way for others to step up and do their part. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees certainly filled a Superdome-sized need down south.
Brees, who has publicly stated time and time again how much New Orleans and Louisiana means to him, announced on Instagram last Thursday that help was on the way.
“Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time,” the Saints All-Pro quarterback wrote. “After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”
During times of tragedy, sports have a way always played a part in healing people across the globe. I think back to George W. Bush throwing out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium after 9/11. And it’s also impossible to forget Sammy Sosa taking the outfield with an American flag, as Wrigley Field roared with patriotism. And of course, nothing healed New Orleans quicker than Steve Gleason’s blocked punt against Atlanta in the Saints “Rebirth” game. It’s been said on many occasions the Saints would have beaten any team in history on the night they returned to the Superdome for the first time since Katrina, and I certainly believe that to be true. Sports and the connection it has with its fans are simply too powerful.
And one day soon, whether it’s a basketball court, baseball field or maybe even the gridiron, we’ll all come together and celebrate the resurrection of sports.
When will that be? There simply isn’t enough information to make a confident prediction on that front.
One thing I do know is that while we wait for that moment, some of the biggest and brightest stars in the sports world are doing their part to help those in need. And I’m absolutely elated to call two of them Louisiana guys. One is adopted, and the other has been making folks from Ouachita Parish proud for a very long time.