Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks has turned to a forgotten hobby of his to help raise relief for those affected by COVID-19.
“Painting has been an outlet for me the last year or so,” Kendricks wrote on his Instagram. “I wanted to find a way to give back to those who need our help due to COVID-19.
The Pro Bowl linebacker, who attended an arts magnet school in his youth, is selling hand-painted canvases for $1,000, matching the price and donating the $2,000 to a food bank of the buyer’s choice.
“I know the price is high, but this is really to try to help people give back to others who need help in their cities,” he added. “I’m gonna find ways to give away more paintings in the future.”
Kendricks lost his grandfather to COVID-19 and was unable to see him in his final days and family in the aftermath due to the risks associated with traveling.
“My dad wanted to go back there and see his family, we all wanted to go back there,” Kendricks told the NFL. “But it’s just like, how can we do that without jeopardizing our own health, how can my dad go back there without jeopardizing his own health? Everything has just been a little bit different and…it’s real.”
Since then, Kendricks has posted fives paintings, although not all have been confirmed sold. He’s sold one locally and donated funds to the Sheridan Story, a Minneapolis organization Kendricks has worked with in the past to help feed children in need.
“People were hungry before COVID-19,” Kendricks said. “They’re feeding so many kids and these organizations that are helping to feed people — the demand has gone a little bit higher.”
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He has also teamed with a couple of athletes as well.
Kendricks sold this painting to former Vikings teammate Latavius Murray, who’s now a member of the New Orleans Saints.
Kendricks is continuing to host his artwork on his Instagram.
“Football is Definitely an Art”
He’s found parallels with his work off-the-field and on-the-field.
“Football is definitely an art,” Kendricks said. “There’s times where I feel like I’m out there painting the Mona Lisa. There’s times where I really feel like you have to use your creativeness, just being spontaneous and just kind of doing things, trying things out to be successful, and that’s an art in itself. Is it the same? No. But I feel like it’s definitely an art.”
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