In a celebration of excellence on and off the field, the NFL proudly revealed the 32 nominees for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. This esteemed accolade recognizes players who showcase exceptional prowess on the gridiron and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to creating a positive impact beyond the game.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emphasized the award's significance: "The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is the league's most prestigious honor given annually to the player who best represents the greatness and compassion of Walter Payton on and off the field." The 32 nominees are exemplary figures, making a tangible and lasting difference in their communities.
Throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, all 32 nominees will be acknowledged for their outstanding achievements. The ultimate winner of the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be unveiled during the NFL Honors, a primetime awards special airing nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Each nominee passionately supports diverse initiatives off the field, from empowering youth to fostering healthy lifestyles to helping veterans and raising awareness for various causes. In recognition of their efforts, each nominee will receive up to $55,000, with the award winner earning a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. The NFL Foundation and Nationwide make these donations possible.
The list of nominees includes players from all 32 teams, showcasing their commitment to community service and philanthropy. Notable nominees such as Jonathan Ledbetter of the Arizona Cardinals, Bradley Pinion of the Atlanta Falcons, and Roquan Smith of the Baltimore Ravens exemplify the caliber of individuals vying for this prestigious honor.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest allowing them to show support for their favorite nominee. By using #WPMOYChallenge along with their chosen nominee's last name or X handle, fans can vote on X or directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. The Charity Challenge runs from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8, and the winner receives an additional $35,000 donation from Nationwide to their chosen charity.
Nationwide's Chief Marketing Officer, Ramon Jones, admired the nominees, stating, "The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award nominees continue to impress and inspire all of us year after year."
Fans can further amplify their support by participating in a campaign by Alltroo, an online fundraising platform initiated by former NFL tight end Kyle Rudolph. Through Alltroo, fans can engage in customized online fundraisers by each player, offering special prizes and experiences. One hundred percent of the proceeds will directly support the nominee's chosen non-profit/charity.
Established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton, this national award has honored 56 legends and players, including current players Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Calais Campbell. Each nominee will wear a remarkable Man of the Year helmet decal throughout the season to recognize their outstanding contributions on and off the field.
For more details on the nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. The countdown begins as these exceptional athletes strive to join the illustrious list of those who have left an enduring legacy on the game and their communities.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.