Warrick Dunn was a star running back in the 1990's, first at his alma mater of Florida State University and then in Tampa Bay where he played many years with fullback Mike Alstott and later for the Atlanta Falcons as well. He was a very small in stature running back whose speed and elusiveness made him a star on the field, but it was his work off of it that truly made him a hero.
During his playing career he started a charity named Home For The Holidays where he helped single mothers realize their dreams of buying their first homes. The program has helped more than 150 people afford to buy homes. His charity gained him recognition as a philanthropist and earned him the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2005, along with the Heisman Humanitarian Award in 2010 and the the 2011 Jefferson Humanitarian Award for Public Service.
He started the charity in 1997, the first year he was in the NFL, and he did it to honor his mother. who died when he was just 18 years old. Her death left him in charge of raising his 5 siblings at a very young age, something he did while still realizing his NFL dreams. Sadly, his mother died in the line of duty as a Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officer.
The shootings yesterday that left 3 police officers dead and 3 more wounded in Baton Rouge has understandably struck a nerve with the philanthropist. He is now doing his best to speak out against violence towards police officers, and specifically trying to bring together his hometown of Baton Rouge in peace. His powerful statement is embeded below.
Dunn was one of my favorite non-Raider players to ever watch on the field, and his heroic actions off the field have only strengthened my respect for him. He has been touched by violence against police in an unimaginable way and has spent his life trying to make the world a better place afterwards.
This statement in support of police is more proof of the type of man Warrick Dunn is, and the world needs more people like him. He doesn't belittle Black Lives Matter to make a point to support police, and he doesn't use any hashtags either. He just states his support for police and the community of Baton Rouge eloquently and respectfully, and kudos to him for continuing to try and make the world better for everyone.
Cop killings rouse painful memories for Warrick Dunn - NY Daily News
The former NFL great's mother was a Baton Rouge cop who was killed in the line of duty in 1993.
Former NFL RB Warrick Dunn, a Baton Rouge native, reacts to Sunday's police shooting | NOLA.com
Betty Smothers, Dunn's mother, was killed in a robbery attempt in 1993. Dunn, 18 at the time, was left to raise five younger siblings.
Former NFL running back Warrick Dunn emotional after Baton Rouge shooting
A native of Baton Rouge, former NFL player Warrick Dunn is trying to deal with the consequences of the violence in the city where he lost his mother in a shooting 23 years ago.
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