NFL to use virtual 2020 draft as a fundraiser for six coronavirus-related charities

Jack Baer
·2-min read

The 2020 NFL draft won’t just be focused on the league’s newest players.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

The NFL will use this month’s draft as a three-day virtual fundraiser — the league calls it a “Draft-A-Thon” — for six coronavirus-related charities selected by the NFL Foundation, the league announced Wednesday.

Who will the NFL be supporting to fight the coronavirus?

Those six charities are:

• The American Red Cross

• The CDC Foundation’s All of Us: Combat Coronavirus campaign

• Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund

• Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Fund

• The Salvation Army

• United Way's COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund

The NFL said it will reveal how donations can be made in the coming days, but said fans will be able to donate through one central fund during the draft.

FILE - In this April 25, 2019, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft in Nashville, Tenn. In a memo sent to the 32 teams Monday, April 6, 2020, and obtained by The Associated Press, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell outlined procedures for the April 23-25 draft. The guidelines include no group gatherings. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, FIle)
A coronavirus fundraiser will be part of the NFL draft's broadcast. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, FIle)

“As we face this global health crisis together, we are filled with gratitude for the extraordinary work of first responders, healthcare workers and many others who are helping those in need,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “The Draft-A-Thon will deliver much-needed funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Conducting this event virtually, and taking all necessary precautions while doing so, underscores the importance of staying home and staying strong during this unprecedented moment in our history."

Despite lobbying from some of its front offices, the NFL chose to go ahead with the draft as scheduled in a remote format. Without a crowd or other events to fill the usual airtime of an event that spans several hours, a fundraiser to help fight the reason this is all happening seems pretty natural.

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