It was among the most moving, personal and impactful Heisman Trophy acceptance speeches in the history of this most prestigious and coveted award in college football.
In January 2020, Joe Burrow led his team to the College Football Playoff National Championship. In his two years as quarterback of this storied college football program, few passing records were left unbroken. Most were shattered.
Joe was then drafted first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Every Cincinnatian knows the rest. The Bengals played in Super Bowl LVI in early 2022, their first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years.
As quarterback of the LSU Tigers, Joe was named the Heisman Trophy winner in December 2019. In his acceptance speech, he was articulate, gracious, thoughtful and thankful for all those who were a part of his journey to the Heisman.
Then, he showed his true depth with these words …
“Coming from southeast Ohio it’s a very impoverished area and the poverty rate is almost two times the national average. There’re so many people there that don’t have a lot and I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school. You guys can be up here, too.”
Joe has followed up his words with action. Just this week, he announced the formation of the Joe Burrow Foundation (joeburrow.org), a private nonprofit organization that will exist to provide resources and support to the underprivileged and underserved. Specifically, the foundation will focus on helping children with mental illness and those experiencing food insecurity.
Joe will be the Foundation’s president. His dad (Jimmy) and mom (Robin) will be vice president and secretary/treasurer, respectively. The Foundation has attracted an impressive Board of Advisors from Greater Cincinnati, Southeast Ohio, Baton Rouge and Louisiana. Sponsors are lining up to lend their support. Many already have.
I am proud to be included as a member of the Board of Advisors. Vehr Communications always seeks opportunities to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. We’re committed to support organizations that create a more vibrant region. The Joe Burrow Foundation will do exactly that.
The guy is one fine football player. He’s an even better human being. His parents and family round out an exciting American success story made stronger by a commitment to give back and support those less fortunate.
We’re excited to be a small part of the huge impact of the Joe Burrow Foundation. To support this effort to benefit childhood mental health and food insecurity, go to joeburrow.org.
Photo credit: LSU Athletic Department.