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Vicksburg’s Butler earns community service award from NFLPA

All throughout his NFL career, Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler has given back to his hometown of Vicksburg and the people who helped him along his journey. On Thanksgiving morning, he was recognized for his efforts and brought in a little more.

Butler was named the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP for Week 11 of the 2020 season for his recent charity work in Vicksburg, Nashville, and at his college alma mater West Alabama.

The Community MVPs receive a $10,000 donation to their foundation or charity of choice from the NFLPA. The union will also set up a crowdfunding campaign where supporters can pledge donations to the player’s cause based on their on-the-field performances during the season.
The $10,000 donation and crowdfunding campaign for Butler will benefit the United Way of West Central Mississippi, with which he has partnered on a number of charitable endeavors in and around Vicksburg.

Donations can be made at https://pledgeit.org/malcolm-butler.

“On behalf of my family and the Tennessee Titans, I am honored to be the NFLPA Community MVP of the week,” Butler, a former Vicksburg High football star, said in a statement. “This is a very different year, and families are not able to come together and celebrate like they usually do. We all have something to be thankful for, and I want to do my part to help those in need.”

Last week, Butler donated 200 grocery gift cards worth $25 apiece to be distributed by three local food pantries in his hometown of Vicksburg — Storehouse Food Pantry, New Beginning Church in Christ, and the Salvation Army.

Butler made a similar donation to his college alma mater, the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Ala. He donated $5,000 to the UWA hunger/pandemic relief fund, which supplied 200 meals for those in need and students unable to go home for Thanksgiving.

In Nashville, where the Titans play, Butler provided free COVID-19 testing and gift cards for 200 underprivileged families.

“I did not make it to the NFL by myself,” Butler said, “so this is just my way of thanking the communities who have supported me on my journey.”

The recent donations are the latest in a long line of good works by Butler.

Earlier this year, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler donated $10,000 each to the United Way of Central Mississippi and Meharry Medical College, which funded PPE supplies and 600 grab-and-go meals for first responders.

Last year he purchased 25 turkeys for several retirement homes in Vicksburg, and each summer since 2015 he has hosted a free youth football camp in his hometown.

Butler is in his seventh NFL season, and third with the Titans. He broke into the league as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots in 2014 and helped them win two Super Bowls and reach a third. His last-minute interception in Super Bowl XLIX sealed a 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Butler and the Titans will play the Indianapolis Colts — whose roster includes another Vicksburg native, former St. Aloysius star DeMichael Harris — Sunday at noon. The game will be televised on CBS.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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