By now, I’m sure that you’ve heard about the horrific shooting in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday afternoon when a gunman opened fire at a ‘Madden Championship Series Event’ killing 2 and injuring 10 before taking his own life.
The aftermath of any shooting can be characterized by complete and utter chaos. Teams of officers scrambling to determine if there are any other potential threats looming. They must ascertain a motive, check the shooter’s home for weapons, interview his family and acquaintances, liaise with the hospital and contact family members of the victims as well as keep the media updated.
There are a million other things on the list of tasks for first responders and they must do all of it while maintaining a crime scene. But who takes care of the first responders? When do they have time to eat or sleep?
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles has made it his mission to take care of first responders. In the wake of the shooting, Blake mobilized the Blake Bortles Foundation and partnered with a local restaurant to ensure all first responders got fed.
Blake wasn’t able to go out and feed the first responders by hand but he penned a hand-written note to the first responders and he set up a meal station at Mambos, a nearby restaurant, where the first responders could come in order to get a hot and delicious meal between shifts.
Jaxdotcom employee Phillip Heilman explains how this is a cornerstone of the Blake Bortles Foundation:
Here’s the note Blake wrote to first responders:
Here’s the Blake Bortles Foundation reaching out to first responders with the nearby station set up to feed them between shifts:
Naturally, thank yous from the first responders in Jax started pouring in:
This dude’s tweet is spot on. Blake Bortles lives under a microscope on the NFL field. Off the field, he’s dedicating himself to the city of Jacksonville and I’m sure that goes unnoticed to 99.99% of the people outside of the greater Jacksonville area. Even as a native Floridian living across the state in Sarasota I rarely hear about Blake Bortles.
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Blake Bortles is out there doing more for first responders than anyone else in the city of Jacksonville (at the moment).
Maybe, just maybe, if you find yourself criticizing athletes on the field this NFL season you should stop and take a moment to disassociate the game from the person.