Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi has already made a significant impression on the field as he enters his second season as a professional, but it’s his work away from the gridiron that earned the former third-round pick acclaim last week.
Nnadi was named the NFLPA Community MVP of the Week last Friday, garnering national recognition for his philanthropic efforts both in Kansas City and back in his hometown of Virginia Beach.
Those actions included providing a back-to-school shopping spree for a family who just lost their mother in Virginia Beach, equipping students with school supplies through the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Virginia and hosting yet another shopping spree for local kids right here in Kansas City last month.
The summer can be a busy time on the NFL offseason calendar, but Nnadi still managed to make each event possible.
“[The award] means a lot, but I don’t look for any type of credit, it’s more about just doing what I want to do for my community,” Nnadi said. “A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to get the things they need, and it can cause them to be behind compared to everybody else. That little pick-me-up can do so much for them.”
The shopping spree in Virginia Beach was of particular significance to Nnadi, as it followed a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 12 people in his hometown.
“I was scared when I first heard about it, I was calling everybody I knew to see if they were OK,” Nnadi said. “Right away, I was just thinking, ‘What can I do?’”
The answer was a shopping spree for the family of Kate Nixon, who tragically lost her life that day.
“I couldn’t go back home, but being so far away, this is the closest I could do,” Nnadi said. “I haven’t gotten a chance to meet Mr. Nixon yet, but when I do, I just want to show him how much it means to me that his kids are safe.”
Community MVP honors are awarded to one player each week who has recently demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact in the community. All 17 winners will be eligible to earn the Alan Page Community Award at the end of the season, which is considered the highest honor a player can receive from the NFLPA.
And before the season was even a week old, Nnadi earned himself a spot on that list.