A lot will be talked about defensive tackle Gerald McCoy's impact on the field for the Buccaneers in the coming days following the announcement the team and the defensive stalwart are mutually parting ways. What also deserves to be talked about is the tremendous influence he had off the field and in the Tampa Bay community during his nine seasons with the team.
McCoy has been a fixture in the Bay area since he arrived in 2010 with this past year being no different. McCoy's most recent community endeavor was his involvement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Social Justice Board. The Social Justice Initiative is a player-led program that aims to create real change in the Tampa Bay community and Gerald was one of the first to volunteer to serve on the board. He participated in the program's inaugural event at the Tampa Police Citizens Training Academy, where he led a candid, and at times uncomfortable, discussion with law enforcement about issues facing society today. For his efforts in 2018, McCoy was the Buccaneers Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.
View some of the best photos of DT Gerald McCoy from his career with the Bucs.
Additionally, McCoy had many repeat efforts in place. He led the Buccaneers' "Cut for a Cure" fundraising team and rallied the support of teammates to raise over $140,000 for the cause this past year, personally contributing $12,895. He also continued to support a section of the Community Ticket Program and has done so since 2010. By the end of this season, he will have invited over 2,086 community members to Buccaneers home games.
He hosted a free screening of Avengers: Endgame movie for members of the non-profit community to join him and his family. He had done the same thing for each new Avengers movie, as well. Since 2012, he's led the entire defensive line's involvement in their "D-Line Delivers Christmas" holiday event that provides hundreds of families with holiday gifts and experiences. Additionally, McCoy implemented his "McCoy Family Christmas" annual event in 2013 where he and his family give back to underserved communities.
Since its inception, McCoy has been a spokesman for the Buccaneers' Vision Mobile, an effort to bring eye care to underserved youth through the Glazer Family Foundation. Himself a glasses-wearer, he was there for the unveiling of the Vision Mobile RV as well as when the Foundation gave out its 5,000th pair of glasses.
Launched this past season, his repeat efforts blossomed into the formation of his own charity called the Patricia Diane Foundation after his mother and aims to support single-parent households, a cornerstone cause of all McCoy's community efforts.
McCoy has been a fierce competitor, a reliable teammate, a passionate community activist and an all-around family man during his tenure with the Buccaneers. The entire Tampa Bay community is better for having an influence like McCoy in it for the past nine years and the Buccaneers are grateful for his many contributions.