Chicago Bears pass-rusher Khalil Mack does what he can for Fort Pierce, Fla., the coastal town where he and his brothers were born and raised.
Last summer he paid for new cleats for players at Fort Pierce Westwood High, where he was an all-area football player, and last month he played Secret Santa for dozens of families, donating $80,000 through his foundation to pay off all of the layaway accounts at the Walmart in Fort Pierce.
Mack’s generosity may have been taken advantage of.
Transaction wasn’t handled properly
Via TCPalm.com, Walmart has admitted that the transaction involving Mack’s foundation wasn’t handled properly.
“We have determined the store did not handle the transaction in keeping with Walmart's guidelines and have taken corrective action,” company spokesperson Delia Garcia told TCPalm.
But Garcia wouldn’t elaborate on the details of how the transaction was handled improperly and what the “corrective action” was, though she said employees did not “misuse” the donation funds.
She did acknowledge that some employees benefitted.
What does seem clear is that the layaways at the Fort Pierce Walmart at the time of Mack’s donation totaled $60,000 to cover over 300 accounts, but the check cut was for $80,000, leaving a significant surplus.
Garcia said a “representative” of Mack’s foundation knew and approved of employees benefitting from the gift.
However, it’s unclear if the employees benefitted because they already had items on layaway and therefore were among the 300 accounts paid for by the gift, or if they received money after the fact to spend.
Neither Garcia nor Mathias Libardi, the manager of that Walmart, would say how many employees ultimately benefitted from Mack’s donation or whether managers were benefitted.
The sad truth is most Walmart workers don’t earn even $15 an hour, so maybe Mack and his foundation didn’t care if they got a holiday bonus thanks to him and his foundation. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle that.
Fox 32 Chicago reported last month that some workers had been suspended pending an investigation.
More from Yahoo Sports: