Daily Sports Smile: Washington Football Team OL Charles Leno Jr. named NFLPA Week 17 Community MVP

Washington Football Team offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. (72) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Washington Football Team offensive lineman Charles Leno Jr. partnered with multiple organizations to bring joy during the holiday season. Leno contributed to local charities across different states and helped families in need.

Leno focused on different causes throughout his “Leno Claus” 25-day initiative in December. His foundation, Beyond the Entertainer, worked alongside local groups to address homelessness and cancer awareness among others.

For his great work, Leno was named the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Week 17 Community MVP. It was his second time earning the award.

Some of his community work included hosting a bingo night for a local homeless shelter, donating 10 youth bicycles, and contributing funds towards 100 LEGO STEM kits for students.

Leno also visited the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C. to meet with staff and residents last month. He also donated $1,000 in gift cards to Step Sisters, a local organization that aids individuals affected by breast cancer.

"Being chosen back-to-back years as an NFLPA Community MVP means the world to me," Leno said after winning the award. "Through Beyond the Entertainer, an organization that my wife and I created, we strive to show that there is more to the entertainer -- and in my case, the athlete -- than what meets the eye.

"By joining forces with community organizations throughout the D.C., Chicago and Oakland areas, we can pay it forward and shed light on the amazing organizations and services that they offer."

The NFLPA will contribute $10,000 to a charity or foundation of Leno’s choice. He joins fellow NFL standouts Mike Evans, Zach Ertz, Darius Leonard and Adam Thielen among the Community MVP winners this season.

His foundation plans to continue its great work. It's mission is to mentor, empower and inspire the community of all ages to pay it forward. 

Leno will be eligible for the Alan Page Community Award. It is a prestigious award given to a NFL player that has shown outstanding work in their community this season.