By Drew Farmer –
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been eliminated from the NFL Playoffs in the AFC Championship Game, but the team’s great humanitarian gesture will live on.
Before the team’s playoff appearance in the AFC Wild Card round against the Buffalo Bills on January 7, the Jaguars donated 1,000 tickets to refugees from around the world and Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria. The 1,000 tickets were split 50/50 when donated as the NFL franchise gave back to the community of northern Florida.
The donation was made by the Jaguars Foundation and team owner Shad Khan. Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida, the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latino Leadership, Inc., of Orlando all helped identify individuals when the tickets were given out. Meanwhile, Delaware North Sportservice provided food and drink vouchers to the recipients of the tickets while attending the game. Khan and the Jaguars Foundation also provided transportation to fans as they reached out during what has been a very contentious NFL season off the field.
In a statement ahead of the AFC Wild Card game against Buffalo, Khan spoke about the importance of sharing the game with as many people as possible.
“The Jaguars’ first home playoff appearance in very long time is an event that should be shared with as many people as possible, across all spectrums, who call Jacksonville their home,” Khan wrote on the team’s website. “Whether it’s a home game in August or January, it’s important for the Jaguars to consistently be good citizens and do the right thing for our community. Hopefully the experience on Sunday will give our guests a well-deserved break from what can be severe challenges in their daily lives, and if we can give them a victory on the field, it will make for a perfect day.”
Those who attended the AFC Wild Card round game were treated to a Jacksonville 10-3 win over the Bills. It led the Jaguars into the AFC Divisional Round where they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-42. Unfortunately, the Jaguars were defeated just one game from the Super Bowl by the New England Patriots.