Bills fans donate to charity after Jackson leaves game

By Jonas Shaffer and Hallie Miller
The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s loss Saturday night was a win for charity.

After the Buffalo Bills knocked the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player out of their AFC divisional-round game late in the third quarter, Bills Mafia stepped up. A fan on the team’s Reddit page shared a link to one of Jackson’s favorite charities, Blessings in a Backpack, and soon fans on the forum kept the donations pouring in.

Blessings in a Backpack is a Louisville, Kentucky-based nonprofit organization that “mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry,” according to the organization’s website. Through partnerships with school systems, it provides backpacks full of food to schoolchildren who are food insecure.

“[Jackson] is one of my favorite players in the league and even though my team won, the league is better with him healthy and playing well,” wrote one Bills fan on Twitter, sharing a photo of his $17 donation. “I hope he recovers soon, and his charity is pretty sweet. Easy donation.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the nonprofit has received some 5,500 individual donations since midnight Sunday, totaling over $150,000, spokeswoman Nikki Grizzle said.

“It is the biggest day we’ve ever had,” she said. “This is the epitome of good sportsmanship; this is what the world needs more of right now.”