Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson is our Hometown MVP

Thompson established the Thompson Legacy Fund in 2020 to honor his late mother Patty

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Shaq Thompson was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2015. He discovered early on from some of the Panthers greats the significance of remaining a chief on the subject and in the neighborhood. 

Even so, the significance of dealing with other folks with kindness was instilled in him at an early age by his mom, Patty.

“It just anything I viewed expanding up,” Thompson claimed. “My mother was a giving back person. She opened the doors for a ton of people today. She was just like the group lover. Most people was welcome to her home. It was just one thing I grew up all around – opening your arms, helping men and women out irrespective of what situation you are in. That is kinda what started off it.”

Thompson’s mother passed away past season, and Thompson claims that was a turning issue for him personally, which led him to establish the Thompson Legacy Fund.

“When my mom handed away, I form of uncovered my function in lifetime,” Thompson mentioned. “It was variety of just choosing up in which she experienced remaining off, which was opening your arms to your community and serving to folks out.”

The Thompson Legacy Fund’s primary focus is to help low-earnings little ones obtain dental health methods, as very well as mentorship and career growth, in both of those Thompson’s hometown of Sacramento, California, and Charlotte.

“Just present them the ropes and help them get their confidence or bring new confidence and truly letting them go and seek out in their entire prospective,” Thompson reported. “I can relate to that due to the fact I was a person of people young ones who was not able to go to the dentist for 10 additionally decades. Once I acquired drafted that was the 1st detail I did. I went to go fix my teeth, I wasn’t pleased with it.”

Thompson also gave back to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, donating 2,000 meals to healthcare employees. But a single of the times that meant the most to him all through 2020 is one you most likely didn’t listen to about.

“I was ready to get some households that were being being in hotels and stuff like that – I was equipped to get them – I signify it is not significant, but it is huge to me – some pizza so they ended up equipped to feed their households through a time when anyone was struggling. I kind of did that on the small. No a person actually knew about that,” Thompson shared.

Thompson now has two little ones of his personal, and just like his mother taught him at an early age the value of supporting others, and he hopes to do the very same with his possess kids.

“Like my mother did to us boys, I want to show them that you received to show appreciate to everybody who isn’t as fortuitous to have what you have and be grateful for that and just open your arms to everybody,” Thompson claimed. “At the finish of the day we’re all humans and we all have emotions and emotions and we all go by stuff in daily life. You by no means know what smile you are heading to carry to someone.”

Thompson has been nominated by the Panthers for Walter Payton NFL Gentleman of the Calendar year for his remarkable local community assistance, as perfectly as excellence on the area. You can find out more about Thompson’s cause on the Thompson Legacy Fund web-site.

You can also aid Thompson for Walter Payton NFL Man of the yr by tweeting #WPMOYChallenge + Thompson. The player whose hashtag is employed the most from Dec. 10, 2020, to Jan. 17, 2021, will obtain a $25,000 contribution to their charity of selection, even though the next- and 3rd-place finishers will get $10,000 and $5,000 donations respectively, all courtesy of Nationwide.