The New York Jets have named wide receiver Brandon Marshall as the team's 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year. Through Marshall's foundation, Project 375, and the New York Jets Community Relations Department, he has impacted many lives throughout the country. As the Jets' award winner, Marshall will receive a $50,000 donation to Project 375, his 501(c)(3) organization of choice and an additional $50,000 donation will be made in his name to implement NFL's Character Playbook program in the team's market.
Marshall is eligible to be one of three finalists for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year selected from the 32 nominees from each NFL team. The winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX. A total of $1 million will be donated in the name of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and $500,000 supporting the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. The two finalists will each receive a $125,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook.
As the executive chairman and co-founder of PROJECT 375, Marshall is passionately dedicated to his work in the mental health community. He believes strongly that football is his platform and his work in the mental health community is his mission in life. With suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, he is dedicated to ensuring youth across the nation receive prevention and early intervention services. He visits schools on a weekly basis to speak to students about the importance of mental health. In 2016 alone, he has spoken to over 3,000 students, and will provide teachers and staff at over 10 Brooklyn high schools with Youth Mental Health First Aid training, which builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.
Jets, Brandon Marshall and NYC Department of Education Announce $100,000 Donation to PSAL
To kickoff his tour of high schools for Youth Mental Health First Aid training Marshall joined the Jets Foundation as they donated $100,000 to the Public School Athletic League high school programs. This grant helps all teams to recondition their helmets, provides Heads Up coaching certification and created a team at A.P. Randolph High School in Harlem where he addressed the new team.
While Marshall has separated himself as a pillar of the community during his time in the NFL; it was not always this way. In 2010, he was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. This diagnosis led him to McLean Hospital in Boston, where, during his three-month outpatient program he realized the prevalence of mental illness. After his diagnosis, he took an oath to help others living with a mental illness or disorders and founded PROJECT 375.