The NFL announced its annual team nominees for its prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, and former Alabama players Jonathan Allen, Bradley Bozeman, Derrick Henry, and Quinnen Williams are all nominated by their respective teams for the award. Allen and Bozeman are nominated for a second consecutive year, while Henry and Williams are first-time nominees.
Considered the league’s most prestigious honor, 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 team nominee receives up to a $40,000 donation in his name to the charity of his choice. The ultimate winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Additional contributions are made to the top three nominees in terms of hashtags generated on social media. Contributions are funded by the NFL Foundation and award sponsor Nationwide Insurance.
Here is more on the Alabama nominees:
Jonathan Allen and wife Hannah’s primary focus has been spending time and and making financial contributions to Sasha Bruce Youthworks (SBY), which is a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC that helps homeless youth find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers. Allen has participated in weekly counseling sessions with youth in the community as well as contributing $45,000 to SBY’s Rapid Response funding initiative. The Allens also serve on the planning committee for the annual SBY gala, donated meals to needy families within the SBY community, and sponsored the holiday wish lists for all the kids staying at the Sasha Bruce House. The Allens announced today that they are pledging to donate $3 million dollars to local area charities over the course of Jonathan’s playing career in Washington.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bradley Bozeman and wife Nikki have used their foundation to combat food insecurity in the Baltimore metro area. Starting in the summer of 2020, the Bozemans partnered with Mount Pleasant Ministries in Baltimore to do a bi-weekly food distribution effort that has resulted in approximately two million meals being distributed to needy families. In 2021, the Bozemans launched a collaborative charitable effort with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Maryland and the Baltimore City Police department to provide meaningful food and academic support to children living in Baltimore’s disadvantaged communities. Named the “SYNC Snack Program,” the effort pairs kid-friendly snacks with critical academic and instructional resource materials and delivers them weekly to metro area Boys and Girls Club locations.
Derrick Henry’s efforts this year, both individually and through his Two All Foundation, have included his annual back-to-school efforts in both his hometown of Yulee, Florida and in Nashville, as well as emergency response support. In Yulee, Henry hosted a back-to-school event in which he donated school supplies, backpacks, and bicycles to 200 kids. Henry also worked with the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee to host a back-to-school event through his Two All Foundation. The Foundation helped B&GC meet its goal of providing 5,000 backpacks full of school supplies to children in need, including $50 gift cards to Burlington for 25 children the club identified as the most in-need. Henry also hosted these 25 kids for an in-person, back-to-school shopping day with additional $100 gift cards, reflecting on how he grew up in a boys & girls club and went on to achieve great things. Henry also provided relief for Nashville fireman who lost his home in a fire, and also supported the relief response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Quinnen Williams has 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 Foundation spreads $50,000 of holiday joy amongst 100 single-parent families selected personally by Williams in the Birmingham, Alabama area (Williams has plans to expand to the New Jersey area as well). Williams has also created the Williams Scholarship 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. Williams also serves as an ambassador for the American Cancer Society to honor his mother’s memory. Williams virtually visited Goryeb Children’s Hospital recently to speak with pediatric cancer patients as well as other children receiving treatment, and hosted breast cancer survivors at a recent Jets game.