Buffalo Bills Fans Flood Charity of Rival QB Who Got Hurt

They're giving to Blessings in a Backpack, supported by Baltimore's Lamar Jackson
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 7:00 AM CST
After a Star QB Goes Down, Rival Fans Step Up
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is helped off the field after he was injured during the second half against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Buffalo Bills fans might be making Saturday's playoff defeat of the Baltimore Ravens a little easier to take for the Ravens' star quarterback, Lamar Jackson. Bills fans have been donating en masse to Jackson's favorite charity, an outfit called Blessings in a Backpack, reports ESPN. As of Sunday evening, more than 10,000 people had donated $265,000 to the charity in Louisville, Ky., which feeds elementary school kids who might otherwise go hungry when schools are closed, per the Buffalo News. Jackson suffered a concussion on the last play of the third quarter and never returned in his team's 17-3 loss. After the game, a user on Reddit suggested Bills fans donate $8 to the charity in honor of Jackson's number. Things took off from there.

"Myself and a few friends decided that wasn’t the way we wanted this playoff game to go, so we decided to find out what Lamar’s favorite charity was and show him some love," says William Burke, the Bills fan credited by the News with beginning the effort. The charity, meanwhile, is overwhelmed by the gesture. "We do not have an NFL team here, but we are all now Bills fans," the organization's Nikki Grizzle tells NPR. The victory put the Bills in the AFC championship game for the first time since 1993, and they will play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. On the NFC side, Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Green Bay Packers. Brady is gunning for his seventh ring, notes the AP. This year's Super Bowl is Feb. 7, in Tampa, per NBC Sports. (More Buffalo Bills stories.)

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