KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Chiefs Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes is on the TV almost every time it’s turned on, even when the Chiefs aren’t playing. He’s in commercials for State Farm, Hy-Vee, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Bose, and a slew of others.
The talented NFL star says he’s dedicated to using his popularity and exposure to make a difference when it comes to everything from social justice and equality to improving the lives of as many children as possible. And he’s starting in Kansas City.
“I think the biggest thing for me was that it was just time for action. Speaking for myself, it was time for me to say something. Time for me to go into the community to do what I can to make the world a better place,” Mahomes said during a news conference Thursday.
In June, Mahomes used social media to speak out about police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement. In a Twitter post, he sent blessings to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, three victims of racial and police violence. The post went on to say “senseless murders that we have witnessed are wrong and cannot continue in our country.”
The thread went on to say he hoped America “can learn from the injustices that we have witnessed to become more like the locker room where everyone is accepted.”
The post ended with, “We all need to treat each other like brothers and sisters, and become something better. Let’s be the world where my little sister, generations to come and even my future kids will grow up never having to experience these tragedies and instead love each other unconditionally.”
As the Chiefs prepared to play in their second Super Bowl in 2 years, Mahomes was asked when he felt like he was able to take a stand on the issues important to him.
“I think that was built up by me getting more and more confidence, being able to play and be myself and show myself and people respecting my platform and what I say,” Mahomes said Thursday. “And so I wanted to do whatever I thought was best to help the world out and everybody, try to make everybody feel equal and feel like they can go achieve their dreams.”
15 and the Mahomies
His true effort to make a difference started when he created his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation in 2019. The foundation works to improve the lives of children through health, wellness and the communities they live in.
The majority of the foundation’s work is through its 15 for 15 program. It supports 15 youth charities, including the FOX4 Love Fund for Children.
Each charity focuses on a key issue like, academics, science, the arts, athletics and more.
In less than 2 years, the foundation has donated more than $500,000 to a variety of organizations. It’s also paid to send kids from the Boys & Girls Club to Chiefs and Texas Tech football games, provided scholarships for children of U.S. Navy Seals, supported adaptive programs for kids in Kansas City, and supplied food for pets in shelters.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Square Park Renovation
The 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is also working to transform Kansas City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Right now the area is a large green space with sidewalks, but not much else.
The foundation is selling customized bricks to raise enough money to build an all-inclusive play site for kids. But it’s much more than a regular playground.
Mahomes and his foundation want to use the park as a place for people to celebrate Dr. King, learn about his legacy and the Civil Rights history of Kansas City.
Work is expected to begin in the middle of 2021.
More Than a Vote Initiative
Mahomes joined other athletes like LeBron James for the More Than A Vote initiative. The education effort focused on encouraging everyone to vote in the 2020 Presidential election. It also worked to educate and register black voters.
Another large part of the initiative was the idea to use sports arenas and stadiums as polling places.
Mahomes, along with teammates Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark, convinced Clark Hunt and the Chiefs into turning Arrowhead into a voting location for the 2020 Presidential election.
Reid and Chiefs President Mark Donovan even voted at Arrowhead.
The 15 and the Mahomies foundation covered half the cost to make it happen. The Chiefs picked up the rest of the tab.
The NFLPA named Mahomes a Community MVP for the effort.
“I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by the NFLPA as a Community MVP,” Mahomes said. “Being an active community leader is something that I feel is important to bring positive change and make the world a better place.”