Baltimore Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell has an extensive history of sacking quarterbacks already present on his football résumé. Now, he’s looking to add a new conquest to his lengthy list of accolades.
He’s hoping to sack hunger.
Campbell teamed up with Campbell’s Chunky Soup on Monday with the goal of donating 5,000 Campbell’s products to the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore.
It was part of a greater initiative called the “Chunky Sacks Hunger” campaign that pledged to donate one million meals during the NFL season. Campbell’s partnered with star defensive players from 11 different franchises and Campbell was chosen as the Ravens’ representative.
“It’s special to be a part of something like this,” Campbell told Ebony Bird’s Justin Fried. “We’re giving away 100,000 meals to the Maryland Food Bank. That’s huge. That’s just a big number. A lot of people will be impacted.”
Campbell has a reputation as one of the most charitable players in the NFL. From his work with the CRC Foundation that he helped found to the Calais Campbell JaxPAL Youth Football and STEM Camp he hosted a few years ago, the former Walter Payton Man of the Year winner has made quite the impact off the field during his playing career.
Ravens DE Calais Campbell continues to make an impact off the field
But what was it about the “Chunky Sacks Hunger” campaign that intrigued him?
“Well, my last name being Campbell, I’ve wanted to work with Campbell’s Chunky for a long time,” he laughed.
The connection is obvious, but his motivation extends far beyond that.
“I wanted to do some good in the community, just trying to give back and help people in need. It’s very important to me. We’re trying to sack hunger. That’s the mentality.”
For every tackle the Ravens, as a team, record this season, an extra 25 Campbell’s products will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank. It’s an extra incentive for both Campbell and his teammates.
“As we do good on the field, we also do better in our community,” Campbell explained. “It’s definitely special.”
Campbell’s desire to give back to his community is driven by his experiences growing up. He wants to use his platform to help those in need and better the world around him. It’s what makes him such a special human being on and off the field.
“When I was young, there were lots of times when we were in need,” Campbell said. “It’s been a passion of mine since I had the ability to help others out. Making the NFL is a dream come true, but it also created an inspiration to go out and help those in need.”
At 36 years old, Campbell doesn’t know how much longer he will be playing in the NFL. He doesn’t have any concrete plans for retirement, but he does know one thing. He hopes to get even more involved in his community than he already is.
“People always ask me what I’m going to do after I retire,” Campbell told me. “I really don’t know for sure, there are a lot of things I want to do, but one thing I know is that I’m going to get more involved in the community.”
Campbell is focused on milestones at this point in his career. He wants to be more involved in the CRC Foundation he helped found.
Named after Campbell’s late father, Charles, who passed away in 2003, the CRC Foundation helps enhance local communities through the teaching of critical life skills to young people.
Ravens DE Calais Campbell has his eyes set on 100 sacks
He has one other milestone in mind too. Campbell will be looking to record his 100th career sack when the Ravens take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
For Campbell, it would be the culmination of a goal he once set for himself when he was 13 years old — and it would come against the team he grew up rooting for as a child.
“It’s cool for me to be this close and know it’s right there for me,” Campbell remarked. “The coolest part about it for me is that we’re playing against the Broncos which was my favorite team growing up. It’s like one big full-circle moment.”
Campbell had aspirations of playing in the NFL as a kid. He dreamed of reaching that 100-sack milestone. On Sunday, both of his childhood goals could be accomplished.
But little did he know at the time that those very goals would open the door for future ambitions.
Calais Campbell recognizes that his purpose extends well beyond football. He’s made a career out of sacking quarterbacks, but his greatest impact won’t come on the gridiron.
Instead, it’s taking place in a local food bank, where instead of sacking quarterbacks, he’s helping sack hunger.