Super Bowl XLVIII and The Bart Starr Award


The NFL Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos is fast approaching along with the many festivities, parties, concerts and celebrations that take place prior to this anticipated game. One annual festivity is the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. This year’s 27th annual event breakfast will take place in New York on January 31st. During this breakfast one NFL player will be presented with the prestigious and honorable Bart Starr Award. The Bart Starr Award is one of the most meaningful honors bestowed by the National Football League to one of its players. The award is presented annually to a player by his peers who they feel has demonstrated admirable and exemplary character and leadership, not only on the football field but off the field as well. This year’s Bart Starr Award is being presented to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers by Bart Starr himself – a five-time championship quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Aaron Rodgers is the first Packers player to win the award. Rodgers was chosen for this year’s award for the character he has demonstrated during his nine years in the NFL and utilizing his sports platform to make significant contributions in the community and bring awareness to those in need. Rodgers has utilized his fame to bring awareness to many charitable organizations. One of these organizations, close to the heart of those adopting from the Democratic Republic of Congo is Raise Hope For Congo. The foundation seeks to spread awareness of the conflict in Eastern Congo, raise awareness of sexual violence used as a weapon of war used against Congolese women and girls, as well as develop governmental policy recommendations for the U.S. government. Rodgers has spoken on his desire to end the conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo, showing that this is an issue close to his heart.
Other charitable organizations which have benefited from Rodgers’ voice and platform are Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) which works to cure childhood cancer and blood disorders, Young Life, and Make-A-Wish foundation. He even took his awareness building one step further and built a website to assist in building awareness for organizations and people who are making a difference in their communities.
Rodgers’ response in receiving the award was humbling and true to his character, “It’s very special to win an award that’s named in honor of someone I really look up to and someone who’s been a great role model for me and for the Packers organization,” Rodgers said. Using one’s own achievements to further the cause of those less fortunate is a selfless act and one that is well deserving of an award. Thank you Aaron for raising awareness to the need in Congo and we congratulate you for receiving the Bart Starr Award!
Photo Credit: Mike MorbeckFor more information about international adoption, please click here.



Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.