LOS ANGELES — Eric Kendricks is known by many for his on-the-field success. He has accumulated 857 tackles and was a 1st-Team All-Pro in 2019, along with many other accomplishments.
But Kendricks is leaving behind a legacy that involves more than that.
On June 19, Kendricks played a round of golf in an event hosted by Change the Game Sports Series and TravisMathew to promote diversity in sports. The event began with a panel, including entrepreneur Karen Civil and former NFL player Tommie Harris. Then, the rest of the festivities celebrated the same cause.
Kendricks shot a 35 after his ball found the water on the second to last hole, and he finished five shots off the winner, former NBA player Jon Barry. Despite it being his offseason, he chose to participate in the event, serving a meaningful cause.
“Anytime you’re doing something for the greater good, I feel like it’s always gonna be a part of the same breath. There are some good people who are involved in this,” Kendricks said.
Chargers linebacker Eric Kenricks at the Change the Game Sports Series event. (Credit: CTG Sports Series)
Kendricks’ community impact does not stop at events like these, though. He is active, working to make a difference in his local communities.
With the Minnesota Vikings from 2015-2022, Kendricks fought for social justice and other causes regularly. One instance came after George Floyd’s killing in 2020 as he was one of the leaders on the Vikings Social Justice Committee. At the same time, Kendricks sold paintings and matched the donations to food banks.
Because of Kendricks’ contributions to the Minnesota community, he was named a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee in 2020.
“As a Pro Bowler and team captain, a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, and a leader of the Vikings social justice efforts, Eric leaves a powerful, permanent legacy within our organization and the Minnesota community,” said Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in a statement in March of 2023. “While he is best known as a playmaker and respected linebacker across the league, Eric’s contributions to the Vikings extend far beyond the field because of his selfless and unwavering commitment to improving societal issues.”
Now, with the Los Angeles Chargers, Kendricks will continue his impact in the Southern California community.
Currently, he is a program ambassador for Acceler8. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization “provides mentorship” to children from “underserved communities” while teaching them about cars.
“I want to learn about working on cars. So the fact that [Acceler8 is] teaching that to kids as an extracurricular activity, it helps them stay out of trouble and do the right thing,” Kendricks said.
Aside from Acceler8, Kendricks will work with other organizations and promote causes meaningful to him while in Los Angeles.