Today, the New York Jets announced Quinnen Williams as its nominee for the 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. Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today.
Williams has been a leader and role model on and off the field throughout his tenure with the Jets. Since entering the league as the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, Williams has recorded 129 tackles, 15.5 sacks – the most by a Jet since 2019 - 32 quarterback hits, six passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Williams created the Quinnen Williams Foundation to give back to the community in hopes of tackling poverty and unfairness while making an impact. Each year the Quinnen Williams Foundation spreads $50,000 of holiday joy amongst 100 single-parent families selected personally by Quinnen Williams in the Birmingham, AL area and plans to expand to the New Jersey area.
Through his foundation Williams created The Williams Scholarship (TWS) grant to provide financial aid to outstanding, low-income minorities in hopes to help offset tuition costs, housing, food, and book expenses. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to Birmingham Metropolitan leaders, with anticipation of helping students maximize their full potential. Selected Scholars will receive the amount of $3,000 of funding.
As an ambassador for the American Cancer Society, stemming from losing his mother to breast cancer, Williams took an active role in the Jets Crucial Catch week in 2021. On Tuesday, September 28, he virtually visited (due to COVID restrictions) Goryeb Children's Hospital to speak with pediatric cancer patients as well as other children receiving treatment. Williams sent them Jets hats, autographed footballs and invited each child to attend a Jets game when they are feeling better. Prior to the Crucial Catch game on Sunday, October 3, he met with five breast cancer survivors with his brother Quincy during pre-game warm-ups to show his support for their fight.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the Jets organization for such a prestigious nomination," said Quinnen. "I have always believed that the work and effort displayed on-field should replicate the passions for community service a player has off the field. Working with the American Cancer Society and creating the Quinnen Williams Foundation are two of my proudest and most significant achievements in my career."
"Quinnen exemplifies all of the greatest aspects of a professional athlete," said Hymie Elhai, New York Jets President. "Not only has he displayed superb confidence and ability on the football field but has also dedicated so much of his time to communities and causes close to him. He has inspired all of us here at the Jets and continues to pave the way for those who come through this organization and the league."
As a nominee, Williams 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. In addition, Williams will receive a donation of $40,000 in his name to the charity of choice. Williams has chosen to support his own Qunnien Williams Foundation. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LVI. The 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI, on ABC. Fans are encouraged to participate in the annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on social media by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 7 and Jan. 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to his charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations.
More information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award can be found at http://www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.