After calls from Chris Long and Lane Johnson, proceeds from NFL underdog shirts to benefit Philly schools
Chris Long and Lane Johnson have helped raise thousands for Philadelphia schools. Now, the two are challenging the NFL to follow in their footsteps.
Eagles Chris Long and Lane Johnson are preparing to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, but first they went head-to-head with the NFL's merchandise team.
Long took to Twitter on Monday to challenge the organization to donate the proceeds of its Eagles Super Bowl LII T-shirts to charity, following steps the two players have taken with their own underdog-themed gear.
And a day later, the league said it would do just that. The Official NFL Shop tweeted Tuesday evening that all of the proceeds from its shirts would benefit the Philadelphia School District's not-for-profit arm.
The back-and-forth got started after the NFL Shop account shot off a playful tweet to Long, suggesting that its T-shirt of a dog wearing an Eagles collar would "go really well with [his] mask," a reference to the now-famous German shepherd masks the players first donned after their divisional-game win against the Atlanta Falcons. The masks and other dog merchandise quickly became a popular embrace of the team's underdog status throughout the playoffs.
A few hours later, the defensive end retweeted the message and suggested the NFL "should donate the proceeds to charity like we did," while Johnson asked on the social-media platform: "So how much $ is going to @fundPHLschools?"
"Well… we can pump their product which can benefit philly schools or we will just tell eagles fans to just continue to buy the ones already sold for charity," Long later added.
The viral trend began after the two Eagles players stormed Lincoln Financial Field in plastic dog masks, a nod to the team's underdog status, after the Falcons game. The masks promptly sold out on Amazon, leading Johnson to sell his own "HOME DOGS GONNA EAT" T-shirts, which benefit the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia, the not-for-profit arm of the schools.
Johnson also set aside some dog masks for Philly-based Oldies.com to sell online, also to benefit the fund. Those quickly sold out, too. Johnson said last week that he's raised more than $100,000 for the cause.
The NFL has not responded to a request for comment, or responded publicly to Johnson or Long.
Fans across social media showed their support for Long's request through various gifs that speculated about the NFL's possible behind-the-scenes reaction.
Long famously donated his own salary to charity and launched Pledge 10 for Tomorrow, a campaign to improve educational opportunities in the three NFL cities he's played in — Philadelphia, Boston, and St. Louis. His efforts were recently recognized by former President Barack Obama.