Here’s a great gesture: the New Orleans Saints won their appeal for steep financial penalties after the NFL alleged that defensive end Cameron Jordan faked an injury in their late-season game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. Among the fines was a $100,000 hit for head coach Dennis Allen — whose wife Allison gave him the idea to donate that money to charity anyway.
Allen shared their story with NewOrleansSaints.com’s John DeShazier: “It all started when we got the fine letters from the league. We said, ‘We shouldn’t be fined for this, we didn’t do anything wrong.’ And then, it got Alisson and I to thinking, ‘Well, we win this appeal, let’s take that money that we would have given the league and let’s do something good with that money.'”
Second Harvest Food Bank is active in 23 parishes across South Louisiana, estimating that they serve 32 million meals each year to more than 210,000 people. The Allens’ donation is going to do a lot to support their efforts.
Allen continued, “And so, Second Harvest Food Bank is an organization that Alisson has taken an interest in. I think there’s like one in five households in Louisiana that deal with lack of funds for foods and vital things in terms of living. And so, we wanted to do something to help out in the community and felt like that was a good place to start.”
Good for them in taking something that was roundly a negative and turning it into a big positive. Jordan’s injury was well-documented — he was limited on the weekly injury report while managing an ankle issue, and the Saints were able to knock down the NFL’s claims with MRI scans and other proof of treatment. It’s a shame that the league cast a shadow on the team like this, but it’s great that the Allens found a silver lining in it.