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Brandon Parker, Senior Communications Manager



WASHINGTON, D.C. – James Smith-Williams has been named the Week 10 NFLPA Community MVP after he helped buy more than $3,000 in holiday gifts for children and families of domestic violence survivors.

"I am honored and excited to be named the NFLPA Community MVP for this week,” the Washington defensive end said. “Being able to use my platform to help families and children who have been displaced during the holidays because of domestic violence means the world to me.”

On November 8, Smith-Williams teamed up with Washington Spirit soccer player Andi Sullivan at a local toy and book store to buy gifts from the wish lists of more than 450 children whose families have been impacted by domestic violence. Washington D.C. area residents were encouraged to join the charitable shopping spree, and funds will continue to be raised during the next month in hopes of brightening the holidays for as many families as possible.

This annual Holiday Toy and Book Drive is hosted by Set The Expectation (STE), which is dedicated to ending sexual and interpersonal violence, and D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV). Smith-Williams also participated in last year’s campaign, enlisting the help of Washington teammate Jonathan Allen to secure toys, books, gift cards and Santa bags for hundreds of children.

Smith-Williams serves as a “champion” for STE, where he uses his platform to raise awareness for STE and DCCADV’s missions, highlight the needs of their community partners and engage with those impacted by domestic violence through events and campaigns.

The second-year defender’s advocacy dates back to his playing days at North Carolina State University. After hearing STE founder and gang rape survivor Brenda Tracy share her story with the Wolfpack football team in 2018, Smith-Williams approached her afterward about joining the efforts to combat sexual and physical violence. He would go on to spearhead the first-ever “Set The Expectation” football game at N.C. State and, after being drafted by Washington in 2020, he became the first NFL ambassador for STE.

In recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Smith-Williams helped host “A Vision of Your Future” with Sullivan, Tracy and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) For Children DC. The event benefitted 20 children who had been placed in foster care due to domestic violence situations, with Smith-Williams working through a vision board activity before surprising them with a night of games and fun at Dave & Buster’s.

“I look forward to continuing my work in the community and helping to end domestic violence and sexual assault,” Smith-Williams said.

In honor of Smith-Williams 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 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 Smith Williams’s foundation or charity of choice.

Smith-Williams, 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 page to learn more about the program.

2021 NFLPA Community MVP winners
Week 1: Justin Reid, Houston Texans
Week 2: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Week 3: Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills
Week 4: Arik Armstead, San Francisco 49ers
Week 5: Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
Week 6: Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Week 7: Brett Hundley, Indianapolis Colts
Week 8: Chris Harris Jr., Los Angeles Chargers
Week 9: Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals


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.