Today, the New York Jets announced that Kelvin Beachum is one of 32 players nominated for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the _Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award _recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
Kelvin Beachum's passion for community service began when he was a young child and expanded shortly after being drafted. He often brought extra meals from the Steelers' practice facility to the homeless that he would chat with on his way home. Realizing the NFL gave him a platform to help more people, Beachum now works with several organizations to create sustainable and technology related solutions to end hunger, provide clean water access and give STEM opportunities to youth. In addition, he often speaks to Fortune 500 companies and universities about diversity and inclusion and holds many board positions.
"Being a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a tremendous honor and a highlight of my NFL career. We stand on the shoulders of the guys who came before us in this league and Walter Payton is the gold standard. He's the Mount Everest of competitors and community leaders," said Beachum. "Since joining the NFL, I've just wanted to be somebody special who uses his platform to give back. God granted me the opportunity to play football at the highest level. I didn't want to use that opportunity to just play football. I want to be a productive human being, a great citizen, and part of the solution to solve the problems of this world. Serving others, fighting hunger, providing clean water access, providing STEM opportunities for minority youth – that's my calling. I just want to be a great disciple of Christ and a great service man."
"Kelvin's commitment to off-the-field initiatives has allowed him to touch the lives of literally thousands of individuals. His educational outreach efforts, charitable activities, and volunteered time has clearly been a passion of his throughout his career," said New York Jets President Neil Glat. "We are extremely honored and proud of Kelvin's nomination and thankful for all that he has done in the New York Jets community and beyond."
As a nominee, Kelvin Beachum will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
New this year, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as finalists and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIII. The 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, on CBS. NFL Honors will be at Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
Five hundred thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the 2018 winner. $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way's digital character education program. An additional donation of $250,000 will be donated to the charity of his choice. All other 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook, and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the 4th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote by using #WPMOYChallenge on Twitter with their favorite nominee's last name somewhere in the post between December 6 and January 13. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.