Peppers Finalist For NFL Man Of The Year

Honored for off-the-field excellence

December 06, 2018 - 9:44 am

The NFL announced Thursday that Carolina Panthers defensive end, Julius Peppers, has been named a finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Peppers is 1 of 32 players, one from each NFL team, eligible to be selected for the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service activities as well as his excellence on the field.

This fall, when Hurricane Florence hit the coast of North and South Carolina, Peppers was moved to action. He saw photos and heard the stories of people that had lost so much in places near where he grew up in Bailey, N.C.

He donated $100,000 to start the Julius Peppers Hurricane Relief Fund through the Foundation for the Carolinas, and encouraged teammates and fans to pledge their support. However, his donation was only the beginning of his commitment. Since his donation, he visited hurricane-ravaged areas - Robeson County in North Carolina and Marlboro County in South Carolina, both underserved areas that reminded him of his hometown where he did more than just visit for a photo opportunity. He put on a mask and helped tear down damaged walls, moved furniture and served food for those spending each day trying to pick up the pieces.

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes NFL players who have not only exhibited excellence on-the-field, but whose passion to impact lives extends beyond the game and has led them to leave a positive legacy in their communities. The winner 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.

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. 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.

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