In the wake of Super Bowl LIV victory on Feb. 2, 2020, for Kansas City, the Chiefs’ Derrick Nnadi made an incredible announcement. The defensive tackle, to celebrate the win, pledged to sponsor the adoptions of every single adoptable pet at KC Pet Project shelters in Kansas City, Missouri.
On Super Bowl Sunday, KC Pet Project took to Facebook to announce Nnadi’s awesome gesture. “We are so excited to announce that the Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive tackle, Derrick Nnadi, is choosing to celebrate the Super Bowl win by paying for the adoptions of all the adoptable dogs currently at KC Pet Project,” they wrote.
“We have had an amazing, season-long partnership with Derrick,” the shelter continued, “and he couldn’t have thought of a better ending.”
The perfect way to cap off this great season ‼️ https://t.co/k9KSt05gtt
— Derrick Nnadi 🇳🇬 (@DerrickNnadi) February 3, 2020
Nnadi, 23, reposted the announcement on his Twitter page the following day, beside a caption, which read, “The perfect way to cap off this great season!” To date, over 9,800 Nnadi fans have liked the post, and many have commented, offering their support and gratitude.
“What you do off the field is as important as what you do on it,” wrote one person. “You, Sir, are an amazing human being and fantastic player! Thank you!”
“You’re my MVP! Gotta admit, I was cheering for another team last night,” another person admitted, “but this made me cheer for you!”
“Thank you for your generosity,” wrote another fan, who also took part in the adoption drive themselves. “I adopted my new best friend from @kcpetproject two weeks ago. I’m happy that other dogs will get their chance for a family, all thanks to you!”
Nnadi, originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a long-term animal lover but never had a canine companion of his own as a child. “All my life I always wanted a dog,” Nnadi told CNN. “Growing up I didn’t have a pet, my parents didn’t really allow pets.”
In his senior year of college, Nnadi adopted a timid shelter dog named Rocky. “It made me think of how other animals, whether they’re owned or in a shelter, are feeling scared and alone,” the NFL champ explained.
As a result, Nnadi has been working with KC Pet Project throughout the 2019–2020 season; the animal lover has sponsored one pet adoption for every single game his team has won. The adoption fee averages US$150 per pet, and according to KTLA 5, the Chiefs won 15 times.
After their Super Bowl win, Nnadi decided to up the ante.
On the evening of Feb. 3, 2020, KC Pet Project updated their followers on the overwhelming success of their sponsored adoption drive on Facebook. “Wow, what a day,” they began. “We know everyone is anxious to hear how many pets found homes today thanks to the Derrick Nnadi Foundation sponsoring the fees of all of our available dogs.”
The shelter proceeded to announce that a grand total of 44 pets left the shelter with brand-new adoptive families—38 dogs and 6 cats—and 30 more were scheduled to be picked up on Feb. 4.
“Of the 109 dogs that qualified for the sponsorship,” the shelter continued, “hopefully around 40 of those dogs will still be available after tomorrow [Feb. 4] which is just incredible.”
Tori Fugate, chief communications officer at KC Pet Project, later told Today, “We’ve had people stop in to our shelter today and say, ‘Please tell Derrick thank you for doing this.’ It’s so sweet.”
Speaking to CBS News, the KC Pet Project team elaborated on the importance of Nnadi’s pledge. “We’ve had an average of 20 new dogs coming into our shelter every day recently,” they said, “so this comes at a great time, as our shelter is full of wonderful pets looking for homes.”
Nnadi went viral for making “snow angels” in the confetti-strewn field after the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win on Feb. 2. By choosing to help animals in need, Nnadi has also ensured that the lasting impact of the win extends far beyond the football field.