It's not often that two millionaires decide to spend a night out on the streets, but that is exactly what Rams' defensive linemen William Hayes and Chris Long did. In a social experiment proposed by Hayes, the two men went undercover for a night on the streets of St. Louis. Each of them had $4 and were accompanied by an undercover security team and cameramen. (ESPN did a great job with the video). It was a chance for both Hayes and Long to get a first-hand experience of what it is like to be homeless. From the viewers' perspective, the entire experience was eye opening and it shed light on the hardships that people living on the streets face on a daily basis. Most of us are inclined to pass out water or food to help those living on the streets, but how many of us would spend a night on the streets to better empathize with the homeless? I never thought about it before, and the fact that these two men, who make a combined $70 million, decided to experience it so they could raise awareness on this issue makes it much more compelling. From Hayes, "[We did this] to bring a little bit more awareness to the St. Louis area and across the whole United States in general. You know, I always told myself that if I was in a situation where I made pretty good money I was going to make sure I was able to give back."
After a year in which the NFL was publicly criticized for how it dealt with the ongoing dilemma of domestic violence (a must read for anyone interested on how the NFL handles [?] this issue), it's refreshing to see other players making positive headlines and changing the way we think about a glaring issue in our society.