MINNESOTA’S ADAM THIELEN NAMED WEEK 2 NFLPA COMMUNITY MVP
Adam Thielen has been named Week 2 NFLPA Community MVP after he and his wife Caitlin donated more than $100K to replace the stadium lights at Brooklyn Center High School in Minneapolis, reviving Friday night football for the first time in three years.
“My wife, Caitlin, and I feel compelled to give back to youth in the state of Minnesota, as we’ve received so much support from this community,” Thielen said.
The stadium lights at Brooklyn Center High were red-tagged several years ago due to safety concerns, and in 2018, they officially went down during a football game. Through the Thielen Foundation’s $100,000 donation and other fundraising efforts, the lights were turned back on September 10. With daytime starts no longer needed, students across all sports can now play games under the night lights and in front of their families and fans.
The relationship with Brooklyn Center High School began in 2019, when the Thielens made their first donation of $50,000 to help revitalize the facilities with new weight room equipment, athletic gear for every fall athlete and $1,000 scholarships for a varsity athlete on each of the school's sports teams. Thielen was named Week 1 NFLPA Community MVP during that season as a result, and the Thielen Foundation set a long-term goal to put working lights back up in the school’s stadium.
“When we heard Brooklyn Center High Schools stadium lights were red-tagged, we knew we had to do something for those kids and that community” Thielen said. “We feel strongly that the zip code you are raised in should not dictate your future potential. Everyone should have access to great equipment and resources that builds confidence on the playing field, and we believe will have a positive spillover effect in the classroom.”
In 2020, the Thielen Foundation created its #ChangeThruSport program, which aims to help those in underserved communities by providing financial support, sports equipment and apparel so students can succeed on and off the field. The initiative launched last September by donating $75,000 in funds and equipment to Minneapolis area schools and non-profits, including Robbinsdale Cooper High School, the Northside Impact Fund and Urban Ventures. This year, the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver donated new uniforms to the Detroit Lakes football team, giving his alma mater a much-needed upgrade.
Since joining the NFL in 2013, Thielen has given back to those in his local community year after year. The Thielen Foundation supports six inner-city youth football teams with equipment, gift cards and donations to cover travel expenses while also providing them with complimentary entry to attend the Adam Thielen Youth Football Camp.
Additionally, the non-profit also has a three-year partnership with the Behavioral Health Unit at Masonic Children’s Hospital, where the Thielens regularly visit the patients and provide them with wellness tools to manage their mental health. Every year during the holiday season, the couple also adopts five to ten families through the Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope program, gifting them with presents and funds to help them throughout the year.
In honor of Thielen being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his charity or foundation of choice. Our supporting partner, Aldine Sports Association, will also create customized T-shirts and hoodies featuring his unique Community MVP superhero illustration made by HEARTLENT Group. The apparel will be sold on ASA’s website during the season, with a portion of all proceeds going to Thielen’s foundation or charity of choice.
Thielen, along with the other 2021 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 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.
2021 NFLPA Community MVP winners:
Week 1: Justin Reid, Houston Texans
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.