NFL Draft-A-Thon benefits COVID-19 relief charities, front-line medical workers and more


With so many eager eyes on the 2020 NFL Draft, the league is encouraging its viewers to do some good by partnering with COVID-19 relief charities for a Draft-A-Thon.

Anna Isaacson, the senior vice president of social responsibility for the NFL who directs the league’s philanthropic efforts, spoke to ABC News’ “Pandemic: What You Need to Know” about the exciting plans for Thursday night first-of-its-kind draft.

“It’s going to be fully remote for the first time ever. We’re going to be live from the commissioner’s basement and we’re going to have almost 200 feeds going out to prospects, coaches, general managers, owners [and] all of our broadcast networks,” Isaacson said. “It’s going to be quite a scene and quite a night with a ton of technology that we are hoping for the best.”

The annual sports event, which is being done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, will aim to raise funds for those impacted most by COVID-19.

“Obviously, the NFL is all about giving back to the community. We’ve been there in hard times before and so this was an opportunity and a platform to take a moment in time when we know people will be watching to really do some good,” Isaacson explained. “The Draft-A-Thon will celebrate the hard work of front-line workers, medical professionals, everybody on the frontlines of this pandemic, while also trying to raise a little bit of money.”

Isaacson said that six charities will benefit from the funds raised.

“We know, obviously, people are suffering right now. But we’re looking forward to providing a little bit of a respite for our fans and a little bit of levity in such a dark time,” Isaacson added.

Isaacson also recognized the level of responsibility that the league feels it has to inspire hope in its viewers.

“We want to be in the business of unifying and inspiring people. We know that sports brings people together, we know that football brings people together and we want to have a moment in time where can do that for our fans,” she explained.

“It’s obviously been a tough go for everyone. A tough go for sports fans. But we can do this draft in a completely safe remote way keeping in line with all the government and medical guidelines,” Isaacson said. “And so, we thought it was the best thing to go forward and bring these people entertainment, so to speak, to take a much-needed break from what everyone’s dealing with.”

Check out all the latest NFL Draft news on ESPN Draftcast here.

Coverage begins Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and will be streaming live on and social media platforms. Round one begins at 8 p.m. EST.

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