Rob Issa, FISM News
Four-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth has made a smooth transition from the field to the broadcast studio after helping the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl last season.
While his former team is struggling on the field, Whitworth is using his new platform to help others.
Whitworth was the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2021. The award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
Whitworth, who now is part of Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football show, launched his “Big Whit for LA Families” program and committed to donating $20,000 after each home game to repair homes in his home state of Louisiana and move residents of Los Angeles facing housing insecurity into affordable homes. In Los Angeles, Whitworth worked with non-profits to help individuals pay for rent and groceries, support down payments for homes, and furnish homes.
From 2019-21, he has been a significant catalyst in raising more than $875,000 to grant wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For the holidays last year, Whitworth and his family purchased wish list items for 53 families living in crisis motels and shelters. The Whitworths bought gifts for nearly 100 children and provided each of the 53 families with a $500 local grocery store gift card along with individually packaged holiday meals.
Whitworth’s Christian faith has inspired his giving.
“In my life, there’s been so many ways that my faith has helped me in believing in myself and giving me the ability to take the next step when I didn’t deserve it or I made a mistake and I’ve been forgiven for it,” Whitworth said on Faith On The Field Show.
I just want people to realize you might mess up one day, but tomorrow’s a new day and you already have the opportunity to chase your dreams. And if I can be there along the way to say, hey, in any way I can put out a hand or sit beside you, just listen to you or hug you or give you support in some way, I’m in and just tell me what it is I can do for you.
Or maybe it’s just sitting beside you in a moment and walking along beside you as you go through something. But I just want people to know that. I’ve had people do that in my life and I just would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t return the favor and make sure that life was about more than just me. It’s about living it with the people I live it with, and that’s what makes life so much better. That’s what makes communities special, that’s what makes teams special, businesses, anything you talk about in life. We really always go back to our ability to pull together and to pull that circle tighter and believe in one another. And that’s really what special movement is.
Whitworth played 16 seasons in the NFL, 11 with the Bengals and the last five with the Rams. He was a two-time All-Pro and became the oldest offensive lineman to win a Super Bowl at age 40 last February.
Whitworth joined Amazon Prime Video’s pregame, halftime, and postgame show, joining Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, three-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, and longtime quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The crew quickly developed chemistry by spending time together off the set.
“How we do things, how we approach it, the way we treat each other, the respect level in our building when I was a player was always something I was a huge protector of and meant a lot to me so I think even in this in this facet of life, like especially even more so, the conversation and the ability to communicate with each other off the air only leads to a better product on it,” Whitworth said.
For us to be able to share things about our families and our kids and who we are as people, I think it helps when we’re up there talking, discussing topics to kind of know where each one of us is coming from and what really the basis of our message is that we’re trying to get across so that we can not only maybe argue against or help each other get that point out or understand where you’re coming from.