Madieu Williams named Vikings Community Man of the Year
It hasn't exactly been a stellar season for the Vikings. First there was Brett Favre Penisgate. Then Randy Moss's bizarre self-interview. Then Coach Brad Childress got kicked to the can. And over the weekend, the Metrodome collapsed.
So it's nice to know that there is still a little bit of good news coming from the Vikings--even if it happens off the field.
The good news is in the form of Safety Madieu Williams, who just got named as the team's Community Man of the Year.
Williams, who is in his third year of a six-year, $33 million contract with the Vikings, has already used his wealth to build a primary school in his native country, Sierra Leone, and is now working on a secondary school. Earlier this year, he helped bring doctors and dentists to the schools to provide free care.
Here in Minnesota, Williams has worked with the North Community YMCA, United Way and Harvest Prep/Seed Academy. He gives season tickets to kids lucky enough to be part of his "Dieu's Crew."
He also donated $2 million donation to create the Madieu Williams Center for Global Health at the University of Maryland, where he played football. The center will work on public health issues for Prince George's County in Maryland, as well as in Sierra Leone.
Williams is now the team's representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which is given at the Super Bowl.
We've interviewed Williams, who is close friends with tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, and have found him to be a down-to-earth, low-key kind of guy. But apparently, Williams doesn't like to talk about his charity work--he declined a one-on-one interview with City Pages. Instead, he answered a few questions with the Vikings staff and sent us some quotes. Here's the one that sums up his attitude the best:
"You don't do it for publicity," Williams says. "It's not for people to write about or people to talk about. You do it because it is something you are passionate about, something that you want to do for your community. More importantly, is making the difference in the lives of people and children for generations and years to come."
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