Cincinnati Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow is known on the field for his poise, leadership, and accuracy with the football. He is also an undeniable leader. He has led the previously sad Cincinnati franchise to the verge of a Super Bowl win in his second year and one win from the big game in his third year. The sky is the limit for the young signal caller.
Burrow is also known for his off-the-field accomplishments as well.
The poverty rate in Athens, Ohio, is twice the national average. Burrow was somewhat insulated from this, as his mother was an elementary school principal, and his father was a football coach, but Joe would hear stories his mother would tell him about some of the struggles kids in her school were having, and the stories resonated with the young Burrow.
Later, after a hugely successful college career, Joe made note of his upbringing and his desire to give back to his home state. During his Heisman acceptance speech, he said via The Sporting News:
“Coming from southeast Ohio, the poverty rate is almost twice the national average. There are so many people there who don’t have a lot, and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County who go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.”
Joe subsequently founded the Joe Burrow Foundation, which raised more than $500,000 for the Athens County Food Pantry. When Joe speaks, people listen. His charm, charisma, and sincerity make Joe a natural leader, and people want to follow him into battle, off the field as well as on it.
We are excited to announce the launch of the Joe Burrow Foundation to help meet the needs of families who are working to overcome food insecurity & childhood mental health issues. Visit our website to learn more: https://t.co/fGHJeBwWOm pic.twitter.com/mpwDcz4twP
— The Joe Burrow Foundation (@Burrowfdn) October 4, 2022
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In 2022, Burrow teamed up with a foundation called “Where I’m From” to create a clothing line where 100% of the proceeds went towards the foundation. The line sold out fast and generated almost $66,000 back to Burrow’s foundation.
Now, as the player works on contract negotiations to keep him in Southwest Ohio, Burrow, and his foundation have agreed to pay for 20 families’ mental health services in the Cincinnati area. The foundation was seeking a single family to help, but couldn’t narrow it down, so they chose 20!
Jimmy Burrow, Joe’s dad and the vice president of the foundation, said this via CBS Sports:
“One mom, one of her comments was it was the best day of her life,” said Burrow’s dad, Jimmy, who serves as the foundation’s vice president. “Those types of things make you really appreciate the fact that we’ve got this opportunity to help.”
Robin Burrow, Joe’s mom and still an elementary school principal in Athens, talks about why Joe has such a big heart, especially for children.
“When I started teaching, I would come home and tell little stories, just things that were breaking my heart,” she recalled. “It’s sad when families don’t have the resources and don’t have the means to be able to get the things that they need. So I think that he heard a lot of those stories and took those stories to heart.”
Joe Burrow is determined to bring a Super Bowl to long-suffering Bengal fans. He is also driven to help his fellow Ohioans that are suffering from mental health issues and poverty. As long as the Bengals keep him, Joe Burrow will hopefully deliver plenty of both to fans and needy families in the tri-state area.
Bengal ownership is working hard on extending the young quarterback’s contract to keep him in the Queen City for the duration of his career. Burrow is everything that sports should embody, and in an age of “me first” and greedy, out-of-touch athletes, Cincinnati is proud to call Joe Burrow their guy.