Former Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond elected to opt out of the 2020 MLB season, a decision made by many players as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
But for Desmond, who played 927 games in Washington from 2009-2015, skipping the season wasn't purely about the health of himself and his family - it was also about the opportunity to do something bigger in his hometown of Sarasota, Florida.
On Wednesday, Desmond shared this video on his Instagram page, announcing the launch of Newtown Connection, a local charitable initiative that seeks to aid other groups in the area.
"As a professional athlete, I've got a platform," Desmond says in his video. "I've also got a choice - whether I use that platform, or not. I choose to use my platform to amplify the voice of people in need."
Newtown Connection will be partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, in addition to other local groups, to help build programs and provide positive mentors to local children.
"My hope is that Newton Connection can help this generation of kids help the next generation of kids," Desmond said. "That's how I think we can make a positive impact."
Desmond's charity is set to launch in 2021.