Given his globe-hopping ways to dig irrigation ditches in Ethiopia or help distribute hearing aids in Uganda, it’s no wonder Larry Fitzgerald would be called the NFL Humanitarian of the Year by Pro Football Weekly. It’s the 14th year the magazine has given out the Arthur S. Arkush award.
“It’s humbling for me,” Fitzgerald said. “A lot of players do things around the league, charitable things. I don’t do it to be recognized. I am passionate about it. But it’s also about my parents, brother, other people along the way doing things we do. It’s a group effort.”
Fitz has the Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, underwriting activities for kids with programs in Arizona, Fitz’s home state of Minnesota and his family’s home in Chicago. He helps with breast cancer and other issues through the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, started after his mom passed away from the disease. And then there are the trips for the Starkey Hearing Foundation and joined Boldin in Africa to raise awareness of drought and famine.
“It’s well deserved,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I don’t think there are as many guys in the game that mean as much football-wise that also mean as much to the community or to other people like Larry does. He’s a tireless worker and I think it’s great he’s been recognized for that.
“You always wonder about guys and what they will do with that platform, and if they will help others with a quality of life. It’s a very unselfish mentality for Larry and a credit to his mother and father and how they raised him.”
Fitz credits his parents too. His mother was heavily involved in charitable causes and “it all derives from her.”
“Given what I saw from a very young age, it was always at the forefront of my mind,” Fitzgerald said. “It was the standard set in my house by my Mom and Dad, giving back and doing what was right. That’s all I really know.”
The other finalists were Ravens center Matt Birk, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Bucs offensive lineman Davin Joseph and Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. I’ll have Fitz’s reaction in a bit.
Tags: Larry Fitzgerald
Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »