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Positively Profiling - Nate Clements

Often in the NFL, stories are circulated and published about criminal behaviour, attitude complexes, and contract disputes.  Recently, an example like Michael Vick re-entering the NFL has brought about debate and discussion concerning that player’s past and future.  Michael Crabtree’s contract dispute is another example of frustrating discussion.  Instead of putting together a laundry list of the bad things, I’ve decided to focus on something, someone, positive. 

Enter Nate Clements, the prize free agent signing of San Francisco’s 2007 offseason.  The Clements signing certainly wasn’t well received by everyone, and the "$80 million contract" was a popular topic for criticism (especially after 2007’s 5-11 finish).  While the contract is rich, it would be hard for any player to live up to the expectations of "highest paid CB" in the league.  Off the field, however, Nate Clements has more than lived up to expectations.

Not only has Clements remained a model citizen, he has participated in several community events and has donated much of his own personal time.  Often people with fat wallets just sign a check and mail it to a charity; not Nate Clements.  Nate is an active participant in community events like the 49ers Family Day and Pasta Bowl event.  During the Pasta Bowl event, Clements served fans pasta and at the Family Day signed autographs.  Dishing out pasta and signing photos is just the tip of the iceberg.  Thanks to Fooch, through Lisa Goodwin (49ers Publicity Manager), I have a good chunk of what Nate does in his spare time.  Here are some examples:

Shop with a Player – Nate spends a day with under privileged youth and takes them on a shopping spree to make sure their families receive gifts during the holidays.  Making sure families have presents is one thing, but taking the time and giving some kids a great experience is taking it one step further.  Other 49ers players participate in this program as well.

CityTeam Thanksgiving – Nate and other 49ers players volunteered to serve food to low-income people in San Jose.  Part of this included distributing holiday food boxes and turkeys to over 1200 people.  This particular event was held at CityTeam Ministries in San Jose.

Cadence Starts and Strikes – This was a local bowling competition to raise funds for projects that support the Silicon Valley community.  Clements participate in partnership with the 49ers Foundation with other celebrities and companies from the region.

Habitat for Humanity – Monday November 10, 2008:  The 49ers were in Arizona battling the Cardinals in front of a national audience.  As the 49ers finished 1-yard short of a victory, fans and 49ers players alike, felt a crushing defeat.  Personally, I couldn’t drag myself into work the next morning; the previous night was too much on my will.  I can only imagine how hard it would’ve been to get out of bed as an NFL player, but don’t tell that to Nate Clements.

Clements was in San Francisco the next morning around 9 AM at Peabody Elementary School, helping build a new playground.  The school received the new playground as part of the NFL’s Neighbourhood MVP program along with Home Depot.  Nate Clements was recognized for his service and dedication to the community. A large reason Nate received the honour, was his work with Habitat for Humanity.

"We build homes that conserve energy, so basically [the families] get the houses for almost nothing," Clements said. "It’s tax-free and the only thing they have to pay for are utilities, which is very helpful, especially with the way the economy is today."

Clements participates by building playgrounds, homes and spending time with the community.  What better way to say you care, than to show you care?  Nate Clements is a player that shows he cares, while he's saying it.  Perhaps the next time you think about Nate Clements' $80 million contract, give the guy credit.  This is a player that is rich beyond imagination and could easily just mail a check to any charity he wants.  Instead, he donates time on top of his money (Clements annually donates to Shaker Heights High School and the Calvary Hills Missionary).  That kind of value cannot have a $ in front of it. 

Certainly Nate Clements isn't the only player in the NFL that is a community MVP, as many other 49ers participate in community events and fundraisers.  In the future, we'll be featuring other "good guys" and let you know what they've done.  Hopefully instead of turning on your computer and reading a dozen stories about so-and-so getting arrested, or that-guy is holding out, you'll be greeted with a story about an NFL player making a difference in a good way.  If any NFL player reads this, take note: You could be next.