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Lonnie Johnson named NFLPA Community MVP

Johnson paid for the funeral services of a 14-year-old football player who drowned in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

Houston Texans v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Former Kentucky Wildcats star Lonnie Johnson is already making a major impact on and off the field with the Houston Texans.

On Friday, the NFL announced that Johnson has been named the NFL Players Association Community MVP after paying for the funeral of a 14-year-old football player, Curtis Walton Jr., who drowned in his hometown of Gary, Indiana.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as this week’s NFLPA Community MVP,” Johnson said in a press release. “Growing up in Gary, Indiana, I saw multiple friends die young due to gun violence. When I heard the news that a teen from Gary had passed away in a terrible accident, I felt motivated to help.”

After hearing about Walton’s death, Johnson reached out to his family and offered to pay for the funeral services.

In honor of the award, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to the Gary Steelers Pop Warner Little Scholars organization. And a crowdfunding campaign called Picks With a Purpose has been set up in Johnson’s name with supporters pledging contributions for every interception made by Johnson and the Texans this season. You can go here for more details on it.