Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks is putting some of his hidden talents to good use after the death of his grandfather due to COVID-19. As an All-Pro linebacker on the field, but an artist off it, Kendricks revealed that he is selling paintings to help aid relief efforts for the virus.
"My grandpa passed away a few weeks ago. It's been kind of difficult. My grandpa was in the target age group," Kendricks told NFL.com, noting that COVID-19 has been deadlier for older people.
Kendricks said his family wants to mourn with family, but "how could we do that without jeopardizing our own health?"
"It's super important to give to others," Kendricks said. "We can all think of a time when we were down and out and someone gave us a helping hand to help us get up off the ground or gave us food to eat. I used to relate to that personally, so now I"m doing it to help everybody."
Kendricks began painting during his childhood in Fresno, California, but as he got older be began to focus more on being an athlete. But his desire to paint never wavered and as the nation shifted into quarantine, Kendricks' artistic side kicked into full gear.
"The best days, honestly, are the days I just paint all day," Kendricks said. "Hours will just go by listening to music and painting."
With time on his hands and a platform, Kendricks is posting his paintings on his Instagram account and selling them for $1,000 per piece. The funds will go to the food bank of the purchaser's choice and Kendricks will match the donation for a total of $2,000.
"It was kind of nerve-wracking at first because I was painting for myself and kind of just having fun with it," Kendricks said. "I didn’t really want to put myself out there like ‘here, I’m an artist, I’m going to sell my paintings,’ but I decided to use my platform to try to raise money for COVID-19."