This is why Celebrity Family Feud is an insult to charities

Celebrity Family Feud, hosted Steve Harvey, is a joke.

It. is. a. joke.

Here’s why: The money donated to charity is minuscule compared to the net worth of the people on the show. If the show was serious about supporting charity, they’d donate a lot more…and make the contestants donate a lot more.

Let’s break it down…

Back in 2016, I watched an episode of the show that featured two teams of NFL players, one from American Football Conference (AFC) and one from the National Football Conference (NFC):

Let’s meet the players:

ABC's "Celebrity Family Feud"
AFC: (Left to Right) Brandon Marshall, Steve Smith, Amari Cooper, Jeremy Hill, and Marcus Cannon. Charity Supported: Active Minds


NFC: (Left to Right) Cliff Avril, Malcolm Jenkins, Tyrann Mathieau, Terrance Knighton, Thomas Davis, Host Steve Harvey. Charity Supported: Got Your 6

As I noted above, each team was playing for a designated charity. The AFC’s charity, Active Minds, is a nonprofit organization that empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. The NFC’s charity, Got Your 6, works to normalize the depictions of veterans on film and television to dispel common myths about the veteran population. Clearly, both of these causes are noble are worth supporting.

The NFC team ended up winning the game against and achieved the necessary 200 points in the final round to win $25,000 for the Got Your 6 organization. The NFC players celebrated, and the AFC team joined them on stage to celebrate with them (the AFC Offense’s charity also received a smaller donation).

Therein lies the problem. The winning team’s charity got $25,000.

A measly $25,000.

That sounds like a lot, right? It’s not, and here’s why.

The information below shows each NFC player, his current contract term, the price of his contract, his signing bonus, his total cash earnings for his career, and the total amount of fines the player has paid to date. All data comes from and was current as of the original publishing of this post in 201.

Player Contract Price Signing Bonus Cash Earnings Total Fines
Thomas Davis 2 years 18,000,000 9,000,000 51,463,000 46,218
Cliff Avril 4 years 28,500,000 2,500,000 37,866,497 15,000
Malcom Jenkins 4 years 35,000,000 7,500,000 26,521,960 41,893
Terrance Knighton 1 year 1,750,000 250,000 11,819,173 36,025
Tyrann Mathieu 5 years 62,500,000 15,500,000 2,390,333 10,000

One look at the numbers above had me dumbfounded, and I think you should be, too. Those earnings are astronomical to anything most of you and I could ever imagine.

The point here is not how much the athletes make, it’s how much they won for their cause on Celebrity Family Feud: $25,000. That’s pennies compared to the millions and millions of dollars per year they earn from their salaries and other bonuses.

Three of the players on the winning team have each paid more in fines to the NFL than the amount that was donated to the Got Your 6 charity. That’s just pathetic. “But wait,” you might say, “the NFL donates that fine money to charity!”

And you would be correct, but dig deeper. The NFL does donate the money to charity, but according to the NFL’s website on fines and appeals, “the fines collected do not go to the NFL, but instead go to programs for former players. The Players Association and the league have agreed to donate fine money through the NFL Foundation to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association’s Players Assistance Trust.”

So, the almost $150,000 in fines that the aforementioned players have paid goes right back to players, while needy charities out there get a measly $25,000. In 2016 alone, these five players will make a combined $36 million. That’s why this doesn’t make sense.

ABC, here’s where you should listen: the next time you want to have a charity game with celebrities, either:

  1. a) put real money behind your effort, or
  2. b) make the players match, double, triple, or quadruple the amount you’re willing to donate.

In fact, here’s a third option: do both. The charities, and perhaps the world, would be a lot better off because of it. And next time, I won’t be insanely disappointed when a bunch of millionaires get on your show and get excited for donated less money than they have paid in fines.

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