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For Immediate Release

December 1, 2020

Media Contact: Brandon Parker | Communications Manager | 202-403-4779


Over the past 30 years, the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF) has served as a trusted lifeline for former players, particularly during challenging times. Birthed in 1990 out of the vision of then-NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw, the PAF supports former players and their families with financial, career and wellness resources while inspiring them toward success and stability in their post-football lives.

“We are excited to celebrate this important milestone because it is bigger than us as an organization,” PAF Executive Director Andre Collins said. “This is about 30 years of empowering and investing in the lives of former NFL players who poured so much into making the game of football what it is today. The success of the Professional Athletes Foundation is directly tied to the post-career success of our NFLPA members, which reinforces our belief that action creates opportunity.”

As the NFLPA’s charitable arm and in commemoration of its continued service to the former player population, the PAF will close out the calendar year by hosting several events and campaigns rooted in its mission of philanthropy.


The Vault

From combatting hearing loss in partnership with EarQ and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly to painting with the pros during Super Bowl weekend to generating laughs for a good cause on Celebrity Family Feud, the PAF has a storied past. Through “The Vault,” readers can unlock 30 of the most memorable stories virtually through human “books” chronicling the PAF’s 30 years of supporting, strengthening and inspiring players. For more information, visit


Virtual Wine Tasting With Will Blackmon, the NFL Wine Guy

To celebrate 30 years as the leading non-profit supporting players in their post-football careers, the PAF will hold a virtual donor tasting on Dec. 4 hosted by Super Bowl champion and The Wine MVP founder Will Blackmon. This virtual event will also serve as a storytelling engagement as Blackmon will expound upon his #AthleteAnd Wine Enthusiast journey and distinctive view of the NFLPA prior to the tasting.


Giving Tuesday

The PAF is teaming up with Los Angeles Charger player representative Isaac Rochell and his philanthropic apparel company Local Human to benefit those who came before him. As part of his monthly campaign to assist those in need through T-shirt sales from his apparel line, Rochell will donate $10 back to the PAF for every custom “Action Creates Opportunity” shirt sold.


Literature League Book Club

This month, NFLPA Executive Committee member and author Sam Acho helped launch the PAF’s newest wellness initiative through his new book “Let The World See You.” The discussion group for players will feature monthly virtual meetings and highlight written pieces published by athletes.

Since its inception in 1990, the PAF has provided more than $26 million in financial assistance to nearly 5,000 former players through the Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust (PAT) Fund. Thousands of dollars in grants have also been extended to charitable organizations established by players and serving the communities in which they live. A portion of the funds distributed by the PAF is generated from fines paid by players who violate the on-field code of conduct, per the collective bargaining agreement between the NFLPA and NFL.


About the Professional Athletes Foundation:

The Professional Athletes Foundation was founded to support, strengthen and inspire players as they transitioned from their active NFL careers. Established in 1990 as the charitable arm of the NFL Players Association, the PAF offers a range of career, health and educational resources as well as assistance through the Players Assistance Trust Fund (PAT). With more than $10 million in financial, medical and educational assistance granted, the PAF is the leading foundation in assisting former NFL players. The foundation also provides non-profit organizations with an opportunity to make a difference through PAF charitable grants. Learn more at


About the NFL Players Association:

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players, and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 season. Learn more at