NASHVILLE – As a player in the National Football League, Titans defensive back Joshua Kalu knows his job comes with risks.
But Kalu signed up for it, and he loves it.
The same can be said for his two sisters – nurses who are currently working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And today, Kalu is doing his part to show them how much he appreciates them, along with all the nurses who are working long hours during the global health crisis.
"When you're a nurse, you know what risks come with it, too – whether that's getting infected with any type of disease, or just seeing and dealing with people you know might pass away," Kalu said. "They signed up for it, and I am proud of them because when the going got tough, they stepped up to the plate and are not backing down. They are dealing with chaos and stress on a daily basis."
Kalu, who initially joined the Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2018, has played in 16 games over the past two seasons. He made one of the biggest plays of the 2019 regular season with a blocked field goal against the Chiefs on the final play of the game, which secured the win.
Earlier this offseason, Kalu traveled with a contingent of former and current NFL players with the group American Football Without Barriers to Budapest, Hungary, where he helped spread the word about American football, and his love for the game.
In recent weeks, in his hometown of Houston, Kalu has stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic for nurses. One of Kalu's sisters in a nurse at a hospital in Houston, the other at a hospital in the Bronx in New York. Kalu's mother is also a nurse.
Kalu has worked to provide meals to nurses at hospitals in Houston, using local restaurants. It started with roughly 30 meals delivered to the COVID-19 unit at from Mezza Grille, and then grew to 40 meals from Lotus Seafood. He's part of a group that is also helping nurses at other hospitals in the area.
On Mother's Day weekend, Kalu will join with others, including long-time friend Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, a linebacker with the Rams, to deliver 250 meals from the Turkey Leg Hut in Houston.
Kalu and others, including his trainer Justin Allen, are all working for the cause. And he's encouraging others to help the group. (Here's a link where donations are being accepted to contribute to the cause, through Allen's Foundation: CLICK HERE.)
"It's Mother's Day, and it's also Nurses Appreciation Week, so it's perfect," Kalu said. "This isn't about me -- I just hope people see my video or hear about this they'll want to contribute to it or donate any way to help. It's all about giving back because these nurses are doing amazing work to help people. I want to let them know they are appreciated.
"Our nurses are fighting long hours, and they're fighting for us. That's my inspiration. I want to help the real heroes who are fighting for us. I'm just trying to do my part."
Titans Online looks back at defensive back Joshua Kalu's 2019 season. (Photos: Donald Page)