After another year of important civic engagement and off-the-field work in the communities he loves, Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has been nominated as the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year.
Every year since 1970, the league has awarded the Man of the Year honor to one player who is known for his excellence on and off the field. It usually takes the form of community service and/or philanthropic efforts, and every team offers up a nominee who best fits this description.
This year for the Chiefs, Mathieu has been a very clear leader on the field as someone who has helped lead a tremendous defensive turnaround as well as shepherding several impressive young players in the Chiefs secondary. Off the field, however, the Honey Badger has been incredibly busy as well.
Through his own foundation, the Tyrann Mathieu Foundation, he has worked to provide gifts and resources to local school teachers in the Kansas City region. He also helps students as well by partnering with local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City to provide school supplies and a night out of dinner and shopping for 32 children. Most recently, you likely saw pictures of Mathieu handing out turkeys to families in need around the Thanksgiving holiday.
In years past, Mathieu has partnered with Patrick Mahomes to help register people to vote and has been active in helping feed hungry children and families in both K.C. and beyond. Mathieu has been a civic-minded player at every level with an impact at home in Louisiana or in every place he’s ever played professionally.
Last year, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks was the overall winner and received a $250,000 check for a charity of his choice. By being nominated this year, Mathieiu will receive at least $40,000 for his favorite charity with the chance of earning the $250,000 award instead. Previous winners from the Chiefs include Brian Waters in 2009 (the last Chiefs player to win the national award), Will Shields in 2003, Derrick Thomas in 1993, Len Dawson in 1973, and Willie Lanier in 1972.