New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan arguably had his best season in half a decade in 2021 at age 32. Jordan finished the season strong, totaling 59 combined tackles, 22 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss, and 12.5 sacks. And that’s not even considering what the Pro Bowl defensive end — and Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist — was able to do off the field.
To say “Cam Jordan is active in the New Orleans Saints community” would be like saying “Cam Jordan has hit Matt Ryan a couple of times.”
In September, Jordan partnered with Cameo to raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank for those still dealing with the affects of Hurricane Ida, pledging $40,000 of his own money for the cause. More recently, Jordan’s partnership through his God Iz Love foundation saw 16 fellows graduate from the Crescent City Corps.
Crescent City Corps is a New Orleans based non-profit that provides leadership training to new first responders and law enforcement officers with a focus on racial equity, community engagement, and positive social change. The program prepares participants to understand and engage with the city’s most challenging issues and creates opportunities for first responders to build meaningful relationships with the citizens in the communities they serve so that they can work together towards a more just, inclusive, and safe New Orleans. For more information, please visit www.crescentcitycorps.org.
Excited to partner with @CresCityCorps to help create a movement of first responders and officers in New Orleans who are focused on reimagining public safety to be more inclusive, equitable, & just. #GodizLove pic.twitter.com/4LypznRU6w— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) December 2, 2020
Crescent City Corps (“CCC”) began its anti-racism campaign back in 2019, but the program was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jordan and CCC, through his God Iz Love foundation, announced their partnership in December of 2020 and Jordan’s $120,000 donation to the second class of graduates of the program.
We recently had the opportunity to attend the CCC’s 2021 graduation back in October, and heard firsthand from the participants about what the program was and what caused them to get involved. Officer Aaron Jones, a New Orleans native, had this to say:
“I never heard too many good things about the police, especially in the area I grew up in. When the police would come around, everyone would scatter. I knew people and family members never had any good encounters with the police. I never thought I would serve, but after college I moved back home and thought ‘OK. I could be a police officer.’ And so I decided to do it....Obviously I grew up in New Orleans, I knew the culture. I knew the people I would be policing. But I figured I could learn more about the different communities in New Orleans and how to better serve them and change their perspective of the police.”
Jordan’s involvement with the CCC kicked off on May 10th with a press conference accompanied by the Mayor of New Orleans, the Superintendent of New Orleans Police, and the CCC Executive Director. During the conference, Jordan talked about how he felt it was necessary for him to get involved to help ensure actual change and affirmative steps were taken to guarantee anti-bias/anti-racist trainings were made more readily available to more first responders in and around New Orleans.
At the October graduation, we asked Cam about what specifically caused him to connect with the CCC and build their partnership: “Two or three years ago I was in this mind frame of ‘What can I do to positively affect my city?’ I’m talking about going from everything like the peaceful protests that happened in New Orleans, to just talking to different community leaders, talking to my teammates. What can we do? How can we make an impact? Then came this.”
Jordan added, “You know, it’s not like I just want to go out there and be like, ‘Hey, come look at the work we’re doing,’ but at the same time these officers came here with a hope in mind and an open heart trying to be the best police they can be. As much as the community may feel like in general we’re not gaining any ground, not making any leaps. You have to take steps before you can make a leap. You have to have a strong foundation. I feel like Crescent City Corps is doing a great job of building that foundation.”
But his work hasn’t even stopped there, and Cam Jordan’s involvement in the community isn’t limited to huge donations.
In October, Jordan announced he partnered with Jameis Winston to donate $1,000 for each touchdown and each sack they accumulated for Hurricane Ida relief. In November, Jordan was a part of teammate Demario Davis’s “Dining for Dreamers” event to raise money for Demario’s Devoted Dreamers Foundation. Last month, Jordan gave 30 pairs of sneakers to kids in the Youth Empower Project in New Orleans. If you’re feeling like getting a good cry out, check out this story from earlier this month about Jordan making a woman break down with tears of joy when she found out Cam paid for her gas at the gas station.
In 2021, Cam Jordan made the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, was voted to his seventh Pro Bowl, led his team in sacks, and continues to be a mentor for young players on the roster like Marcus Davenport and Payton Turner. Still, 2021 might have been Cam’s best year in New Orleans, not for what he did for New Orleans on the football field, but what he’s done for the city during his time off the field.
Cam Jordan is the New Orleans Saints’ 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist. No matter who wins the award across the NFL, Cam Jordan is without question the Man of the Year for the New Orleans Saints.