Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison carried more than just the weight of the team’s running game this season as he emerged a starter following the release of Dalvin Cook.
He gave back to his hometown of San Bernardino, California, the city of Boise where he played college ball and the area around Minneapolis. He kicked off his Rush 2 Give 2023 Giveback Tour in August and continued his efforts through December.
Mattison hosted camps where he helped teach kids about financial literacy, gave students hundreds of new backpacks and school supplies, awarded families dealing with tough times ticket packages to see the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium and visited cancer patients at the Masonic Hospital in Minneapolis.
He also honored a military veteran with a tour of the team facility and a Polaris Slingshot and made five families’ holidays extra special with a shopping spree and helped one family with rent assistance.
“Throughout the whole thing, it was just very impactful because not only was it just trying to impact these lives but also me being there, being present, not just kind of writing my name on it but just walking through these events and these things with all these people that we’re able to impact just made that much more of an impact on me,” Mattison told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
Mattison drew from his own experiences from when he was a child.
He told Fox News Digital he grew up in a place where he had no other choice but to make it big.
“My mentality was that I have to make it out, and my way of making out was playing ball,” he said. “The other paths for me were dead or in jail. That’s kinda like what my mindset was as I was chasing the dream.”
He said his charitable work reminded him just how blessed he is to be a pro athlete.
“I always thought if I made it that it was gonna be bigger than me. It was gonna be bigger than football. And that I was gonna use my platform and use whatever means that I have created for myself to not only give back in some sort of capacity, but to impact lives.”
Mattison is one of the players nominated for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award. The honor recognizes a player who has gone above and beyond with community service.
He said it was an honor to be nominated for the award, but there was still work to be done.