It’s much better to give than to receive and most professional athletes have a background of poverty, so it’s natural for them to want to give back to their old community and families. What makes witnessing professional athletes giving back so great and why it’s a big deal is because, truthfully, they don’t have to it. Former NFL safety, Keion Carpenter (Baltimore), had a successful football camp for Baltimore’s youth this summer at Towson University with other celebrities in attendance that was active.
Another Baltimore native who is currently in the NFL, a product from the west side, Jason Murphy, center of the Tennessee Titans, is having football camps on the heel of his preparation for his up and coming season. Murphy was one of the celebrities at Carpenter’s football, C4C (Commitment 4 Change) and he will also have some of his NFL brothers at attendances as well for the future hopefuls to inspire, teach and mentor them. “The camps are to reach back into the community and to give back to young kids and kids that are going through high school have the opportunity to meet pro athletes and also have hands on mentoring from pro athletes because they are guys who have been through the same things and coming from the same type of places like myself,” said Murphy.
Murphy attended Edmondson High School and was the Baltimore Sun’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2001. Murphy played at Virginia Tech where he made First Team All-ACC in 2005 (his senior year), signed as a undrafted free agent for the San Diego Chargers in 2006 and signed with the Seattle Seahawks the following year. While Murphy was on the practice squad for both teams (which is not easy), in 2007, he went to play for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe, a league where NFL teams would sent players (before it shut down, with potential to play in the NFL, but needed to work on some of their skills. Murphy turned heads and was signed with the Titans later that year where he is currently.
Murphy remembers clearly that when he was coming up as a young man in Baltimore, no one came back to give camps or programs for the youth and he wants to give the children from the city something he wasn’t given, opportunity. “I didn’t have the opportunity to do these kinds of things when I was coming up as a kid because no one was reaching back into the community like I’m tying to do now,” said Murphy. “So I just want to reach back and give a helping hand to anybody who needs it.”
Murphy is going into his third year with his foundation, Holding the Line Foundation. The foundation’s purpose is to mentor under privilege children through sports and, eventually, help support single parent household families. “It all about mentoring to kids through sports and that’s my main goal right now and we are going to move on and so more things like helping single parent family homes, but it all about the kids,” said Murphy.
On May 29th, Murphy and his foundation had its first annual fundraiser in support of the foundation’s youth football camp. It was a cocktail party with a silent auction at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Baltimore.
Murphy camps are funded by a grant from the NFL Youth Football Fund, a program that works with active NFL players to provide camps and programs for the respective athlete’s hometown community. Murphy partnered with Big Brother, Big Sister of Central Maryland and the camps are ‘free’. On May 30th, Murphy had his first camp his old high school, Edmondson and he will have another on July 11th at the Harford Recreational Field on Harford Road and his third camp on July 18th in Harford County at the Fallston’s Sports Complex. “We’re going to build something that is forever and we’re going to have about ten camps a year,” said Murphy. To find more information; go to, jasonmurphyfootball.com, for more details.
Murphy knows that the inner city youth are at a disadvantage and he understands that he can’t save everybody, but his motives are right. “With the issues in Baltimore, the city definitely needs a helping hand,” said Murphy. “It’s the environment we (the professional athletes from the area) grew up and came from…we most definitely want to help as much as possible. You see a lot of senseless killings and drugs dealing on the corners. I just want to try and help as much as I can.”