For the third straight year, Geno Atkins earned NFLPA Community MVP honors following his annual “Atkins Week of Giving,” which helped out more than 800 people in his team city.


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Brandon Parker, Senior Communications Manager




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Geno Atkins has been named Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP for providing $50,000 in gifts, meals and other surprises for more than 800 essential workers and underserved people in Cincinnati during his third annual “Atkins Week of Giving.”

“It’s an honor to be named the Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP,” Atkins said. “I know now more than ever, my teammates and other players around the league have gone so far above and beyond to make positive change in our communities, so it’s definitely a special honor to receive this.”

This marks the third straight season that Atkins has earned NFLPA Community MVP, each time for his tremendous annual week of outreach. The Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman and his wife, Kristen, stretched this year’s efforts across eight days during Thanksgiving week, with an emphasis on those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After asking for the public’s help in nominations, their acts of kindness included:

  • Sharing a barcode for free coffee on his Instagram story while encouraging participants to pay it forward by purchasing coffee for the person behind them in line;
  • Providing 20 underserved kids in Athens, Georgia with a $5,000 shopping spree;
  • Personally surprising 30 National Guard members via Zoom with $100 gift cards;
  • Giving gift cards and Thanksgiving meal bundles to 25 graduates from Freestore Foodbank’s job training program;
  • Dropping off meal bundles on the porches of 60 immunocompromised individuals throughout Cincinnati on Thanksgiving morning;
  • Delivering Thanksgiving dinner to the Blood Cancer Unit at Mercy Jewish Hospital and Christ Medical ICU Department;
  • Surprising a family at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with a Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed to provide comfort for a teenage girl facing a challenging health condition;
  • Providing financial assistance, ranging from $1,000-$1,200, to three additional families at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital;
  • Arranging pizza deliveries to Newport Fire Department and Boone County 911 Dispatch
  • Delivering donut breakfast to Hoxworth Blood Center for 250 staff members
  • Sending lunch to local special education teachers
  • Gifting autographed jerseys, gift cards and other surprises by mail and Zoom

“My wife and I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for all that we have and we love being able to impact other people’s lives, especially during the holiday season,” said Atkins, who is also a two-time finalist for the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award.

The 11th-year veteran is an avid, year-round supporter of various foundations and organizations in his team city of Cincinnati as well as Atlanta and Athens, Georgia. Earlier this year, Atkins donated $100,000 to Freestore Foodbank, which in turn provided 300,000 meals to families in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana during the pandemic’s onset. He also serves as an ambassador for the American Diabetes Association.

In honor of Atkins being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice. Also, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign to benefit Gwinnett County Public Schools Community-Based Mentoring Program. Supporters can make a flat donation at the following website:

Make a Pledge

Atkins, along with the other 2020 Community MVPs, will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.

The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their hometowns and team cities. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community. Please visit our website to learn more about the program.

2020 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 0: Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans
Week 1: Cam Heyward, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 2: Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 3: Landon Collins, Washington Football Team
Week 4: Oren Burks, Green Bay Packers
Week 5: Harrison Phillips, Buffalo Bills
Week 6: Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers
Week 7: Shawn Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
Week 8: Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles
Week 9: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
Week 10: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
Week 11: Malcom Butler, Tennessee Titans


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