Miami's Jaelan Phillips Named Week 8 NFLPA Community MVP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jaelan Phillips has been named the Week 8 NFLPA Community MVP after inviting 18 Miami Dolphins rookies to join him for a visit to the Broward Regional Juvenile Detention Center. There, they spent time with 40 youth, speaking about overcoming challenges while providing guidance and inspiration for the future.
“The South Florida community welcomed me with open arms since day one and has given me so much,” Phillips said. “It’s an honor to be able to give back even in the smallest of ways. NFLPA, thank you so much for this recognition. It takes a team and the work continues!”
After making several trips earlier this year to connect with incarcerated youth in Florida, Phillips decided on October 18 to bring the Dolphins rookie class with him. The group played games, ate snacks and had conversations ranging from sports to real-life matters. In that time, not only were the kids reminded there are people who believe in them, but Phillips helped the first-year Dolphins see the type of impact that they can make with their new platform as professional athletes.
For these visits, Phillips teams up with VERB (Victory Everyday Restoring Belief) Kind, a community outreach program for kids ages 7-17 in juvenile detention centers. VERB Kind’s mission is to help the youth to feel loved and accepted through time spent building relationships.
The second-year linebacker’s first visit to the detention center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, came on March 14. He shared his story of overcoming adversity with a group of teens, revealing how he battled back from medical retirement after sustaining several concussions and a 2018 moped accident to make it to the NFL.
Since that visit, Phillips has made a point to bring along some of his Dolphins teammates, like Christian Wilkins and Jaylen Waddle, who played basketball with the youth and generated hope with their presence and support. Phillips, who also hosted a VERB Kind fundraising event this past spring, has expressed a passion for helping children in need, which has inspired much of his charitable work since being drafted by the Dolphins in 2021.
During his rookie campaign, Phillips volunteered multiple times at Lotus House, a shelter for single women and children experiencing homelessness, where he donated costumes for Halloween and hosted a Thanksgiving cookie decorating event. He also provided aid and resources to the residents displaced by the Surfside building collapse, served meals at Miami Rescue Mission and provided gifts to pediatric cancer patients at a South Florida hospital. At year’s end, Phillips became the first rookie recipient of the Dolphins’ Nat Moore Community Service Award.
This season, he picked up right where he left off. Along with donating $2,000 for Hurricane Ian relief efforts, he has visited pediatric patients at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and joined the Dolphins Challenge Cancer (DCC) executive board to help lead awareness, fundraising and planning for the annual 100-mile DCC event.
In honor of Phillips being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his charity or foundation of choice. Phillips will also take part in a virtual or in-person visit to a school or children’s hospital. Along with the other 2022 Community MVPs, he will also become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
The Community MVP campaign is part of the NFLPA’s continued efforts to support the year-round, civic outreach and engagement of its player members. Please visit the NFLPA Community MVP website to learn more about the program.
2022 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 1: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Week 2: Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders
Week 3: Cody Davis, New England Patriots
Week 4: Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders
Week 5: John Metchie III, Houston Texans
Week 6: Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
Week 7: Jason Cabinda, Detroit Lions
Week 8: Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins
About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.