The New York Jets announced today Solomon Thomas as its nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the league's most prestigious honor and acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities.
As the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, The Defensive Line, Solomon Thomas not only invests financially in his passions but also actively dedicates his time, energy, and intellect to propel the organization towards success. His engaging public speaking revolves around hopefulness and the profound belief that every individual holds extraordinary value, deserving a life of wellness. Solomon's positive and uplifting message resonates publicly and privately, offering invaluable insight and experience. His collaborative efforts with partners like Dak Prescott, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Crisis Text Line, and Vibrant Health for the 988 campaign showcase a commitment to impactful initiatives.
Solomon's generosity extends beyond partnerships, as seen in his discreet donations to various organizations, including a substantial contribution of $24K to two families affected by a tragic mass shooting in Texas. Hosting four consecutive Youth Football Camps for middle and high school athletes in his hometown, Solomon provides a unique opportunity for young players to learn from elite coaches and players. In the spirit of giving, Solomon donated $5K for Thanksgiving distributions through the Interfaith Food Pantry Network and Athletes Making Progress Together.
Solomon Thomas leads by example, demonstrating his character through actions. His commitment to giving back is evident in his public advocacy and tireless efforts to support causes he believes in, creating a life marked by both hard work and unwavering generosity.
""I am truly honored and humbled to be nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award by the New York Jets for the second consecutive year," said Thomas. "This recognition goes beyond football, reflecting the impact we can make off the field and impact others' lives with our platform. It's a privilege to be a part of this team and have a platform to positively impact others. Thank you to the Jets organization, the Tri-state community, my family, and my teammates for this incredible honor."
"Solomon's dedication to giving back and serving others encourages everyone around him to strive for change, on and off the field," said Jets President Hymie Elhai. "The undeniable impact he has made on the Jets organization and the greater community inspires conversations to raise awareness around the importance of mental health. His latest initiative, working with student athletes to create the Mental Health Player of the Month program, is just one of his many efforts to prioritize mental health will create a last impacting on young athletes as they progress in their future and the entire athletic community."
As a nominee, Thomas will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.
All 32 nominees will be recognized for their achievements during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII. The 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Each nominee will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are made possible by the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in the Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with the name/X handle of their chosen nominee or by voting directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. The nominee who receives the most collective hashtag mentions and votes will win an additional $35,000 donation to the charity of their choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000 and the third-place winner receiving $5,000. Charity Challenge voting takes place from Dec. 5th to Jan. 8th.
In addition, fans can further amplify their support of Solmon Thomas by participating in an exciting campaign by Alltroo – an online fundraising platform started by former NFL tight end and 3-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, Kyle Rudolph. Through Alltroo, fans can support Solomon Thomas by entering an online fundraiser customized by each player for the chance to win special prizes and experiences, such as meet and greets, game tickets, sideline passes and more. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through Alltroo's campaign will directly support the nominee's non-profit/charity of choice. For more information visit Alltroo.com.
For more information on the nominees and the award, please visit NFL.com/ManOfTheYear.