Education Funding

‘Underdog’ Super Bowl Shirt Sales to Benefit Philadelphia Schools

By Corey Mitchell — January 24, 2018 2 min read

The National Football League will donate proceeds from its underdog-themed Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl t-shirts to the Philadelphia School District’s not-for-profit foundation.

The NFL made the decision after Eagles players Chris Long and Lane Johnson went on Twitter to nudge the league to follow to lead of Johnson, who donated the proceeds from his own underdog-themed gear to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the foundation for the 125,000-student district.

Long and Johnson wore dog masks on the field after the Eagles, who were not favored to win the game, defeated the Atlanta Falcons in their first playoff game a week and a half ago. Fans sought out the masks and other dog-themed merchandise as they embraced the team’s underdog status throughout the playoffs.

After the NFL Shop’s Twitter account directed a message to Long, suggesting that its t-shirt of a dog wearing an Eagles collar would “go really well with [his] mask.” Long retweeted the message, challenging the NFL to “donate the proceeds to charity like we did,” while Johnson asked: “So how much $ is going to @fundPHLschools?”

In response, the Official NFL Shop account tweeted Tuesday evening that proceeds from sales of the $28 shirts would benefit the school fund.

Johnson said last week that he’s raised more than $100,000 for the cause.

The Eagles face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII—and once again their opponent is favored.

The district tweeted out their appreciation for the support.

Long has a history of education-related philanthrophy. He donated his NFL game paychecks during the 2017 season to charity, with the money from the last 10 games going to groups that support educational equity in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Boston, the three cities where he has played professional football. Long’s base salary for the season was $1 million.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.