Skip to main content
Advertising

Official website of the New England Patriots

replay
Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Thu May 23 - 02:00 PM | Tue May 28 - 11:55 AM

Patriots honor Jonathan Jones with 2023 Ron Burton Community Service Award

'You don't do these things for recognition when you go out into the community to help people. But when people do recognize the things you do, it's just another opportunity to bring awareness and get more people to come in and help.'

Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones at the Patriots Premiere.
Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones at the Patriots Premiere.

Jonathan Jones didn't know if he had a future in New England this past January, facing free agency after the Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention.

Still, two days following the loss to the Buffalo Bills, he was at a local Boston elementary school to donate a STEM lab. His commitment to the community was unwavering, no matter how his contract situation played out.

"I came in as a young man out of college and I've grown up so much," Jones said at the time of uncertainty.

"From the football aspect, but then just life, going through so many obstacles and still being here. It's been a blessing. This is my home. It's what I know as an adult. The people here have embraced me and I've embraced them."

Fortunately for the team and fan base, it worked out to keep Jones around. He signed a two-year extension in March to finish what he started, on and off the field.

On Tuesday, his loyalty and commitment were rewarded with the team's most prestigious individual honor. At the annual Patriots Premiere, he was named the 2023 Ron Burton Community Service Award recipient.

"You don't do these things for recognition when you go out into the community to help people," Jones said after being surprised with the award.

"But when people do recognize the things you do, for me, it's just another opportunity to bring awareness and get more people to come in and help."

Since joining the Patriots in 2016 as an undrafted free agent, Jones has been more than active in the New England community.

His local philanthropy started off with participation in Patriots Foundation events, but has since evolved into his own charity: The Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation, which focuses on mentorship, opportunities for girls and women, and solving food insecurity, to just name a few causes. Listing out everything he's been involved with in the community since his arrival in New England literally spans three pages of a word document -- a testament to how deserving he is.

This impactful work has been recognized by his hometown, Carrollton, GA, and the city of Auburn, where he played college football. "Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation Day" is observed in both zip codes, in November and April, respectively.

By all accounts, Jones lives up to the standard set by the award's namesake.

Former Patriots running back Ron Burton Sr. left a legacy of love and compassion, and despite growing up in Ohio, he remained in New England after his career and poured himself into the community until his passing in 2003.

"We don't have a team MVP," said Patriots president and CEO Robert Kraft at the Premiere.

"There's no offensive or defensive player of the year, and we certainly don't have a rookie of the year. The one individual award we present annually is the award named after the first player ever drafted by the Patriots back in 1960. ... Ron was someone I looked up to personally because he had a successful playing career, but he had a great commitment to helping others in need."

That mentality has been passed down through Patriots locker room ever since.

Joining Jones on stage were former Ron Burton award winners Deatrich Wise Jr., Lawrence Guy, Matthew Slater, Joe Cardona, and Jerod Mayo. Together, they set the tone for the younger players in the locker room.

"Hopefully this (ceremony) instills the same thing that it did for me all those years, watching Devin (McCourty) and Slater all succeed off the field as much as on it," Jones said.

"It set a standard for me in my own life and the things I wanted to achieve. So I hope the younger guys look up to me and just follow in the same footsteps of those who came before us."

Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones accepting the 2023 Ron Burton Community Service Award.
Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones accepting the 2023 Ron Burton Community Service Award.

Related Content

Advertising

Latest News

Presented by
Advertising

Trending Video

Advertising

In Case You Missed It

Presented by
Advertising