CHARLOTTE, NC – December 13, 2019 – After having what was deemed to be a successful surgical procedure on his injured foot, Cam Newton received more good news. The recovering quarterback was selected as the team's nominee for one of the NFL's most prestigious awards. The details of the selection came via the following press release from the Panther's organization.
The Carolina Panthers announced today Cam Newton as its nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide 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.
Newton's commitment to community efforts has been tireless and far-reaching. He established his own foundation in 2012, identifying three pillars of focus: EVERY 1 PLAYS (youth activity and mentoring high school players), EVERY 1 GIVES (donations and community outreach) and EVERY 1 LEARNS (diversity and societal education). Together, they make up the foundation’s guiding principle and Newton's personal belief of EVERY 1 MATTERS.
Since inception, the foundation has provided $5.13 million in grant funding, year-round programming resources and donations to schools and non-profit agencies in Atlanta and Charlotte. Over 12,500 student-athletes and coaches have participated in Newton's EVERY 1 PLAYS initiative. Additionally, 11,850 need-based youth have been provided meals and gifts through Newton’s signature annual programs: “Cam’s Thanksgiving Jam” and “Santa Cam’s Surprise Sleigh.”
Newton’s off-the-field efforts have grown the sport of football at the grassroots level and he uses the game as a gateway to mentor youth. Newton’s passion and enthusiasm for high school football is exemplified by his annual 7-on-7 tournament which featured four events, 85 high school teams and over 2,000 student-athletes in 2019.
Newton’s 7-on-7 All-Star team also affords the opportunity to counsel and prepare elite high school players for the next step in their football development. Since 2011, 450 student-athletes have participated in the program including 20 future Collegiate Academic All-Americans, 10 current and former NFL players and 75 student-athletes currently playing collegiate football. Notable players who have benefitted from Newton’s mentorship include Deshaun Watson (QB, Houston Texans), Michael Gallup (WR, Dallas Cowboys), Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State) and Jadon Haselwood (WR, Oklahoma University).
“Cam’s longstanding commitment to youth in the underserved communities of Atlanta and Charlotte is comprehensive and staggering,” said Panthers Director of Community Relations Riley Fields. “When you factor in his efforts to grow the game of football on the grassroots level and the mentoring that takes place to enrich the lives of the participants, it’s clear that Cam has earned this nomination and is deserving of this recognition.”
For the second 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 LIV.
The 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV, on FOX. NFL Honors will be at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami.
All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 5th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 12 and Jan. 12 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
More information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award can be found at http://www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.