Walter Payton rushing ball in 1984 photo by Jeno’s ;1986 Jeno’s Pizza via wikipedia commons
Winner to be Announced at NFL Honors the Night Before Super Bowl LV
The NFL announced today the 32 nominees for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, each player was selected as his team’s Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered the league’s most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. First established in 1970, the national award was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON.
“This year has presented significant challenges for us all, from the ongoing global pandemic to the continued social injustices witnessed this year,” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “The 32 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees remind us that even in the face of adversity, players continue to raise awareness and use their voice and platform to positively impact their communities. The nominees will leave lasting legacies across the country in a time when we need leadership and strength the most.”
For the third year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV. The 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally the week of Super Bowl LV on CBS.
All 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
“Nationwide is proud to recognize an impressive class of Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominees,” said Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer RAMON JONES. “We have long known that NFL players care about the communities where they live and play, but these 32 men have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to advocate for personal causes and inspire action to support them. Nationwide is honored to play a part in sharing their stories and supporting the tremendous work of these community champions.”
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 6th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan. 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear. New this year, fans can win NFL Shop gift cards and additional money for their favorite nominee’s charity. Each Monday during the #WPMOYChallenge, Nationwide will ask fans to respond on Twitter with their favorite nominee and one randomly selected fan each week will win a $100 NFL Shop gift card and $2,500 for their favorite nominee’s charity.
Beginning in 2017, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette came to life in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. The six current players who have won the award—DREW BREES, THOMAS DAVIS, LARRY FITZGERALD, JASON WITTEN, J.J. WATT and CALAIS CAMPBELL —continue to wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2020 nominees will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal beginning Week 14 and continuing through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.
For more information on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.