CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers Defensive End Julius Peppers was nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
One player from each NFL team, 32 in total, is chosen for the award, which recognizes a player for his community service activities and excellence on the field.
“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 Panthers says.
Peppers donated $100,000 to start the Julius Peppers Hurricane Relief Fund through the Foundation for the Carolinas. Peppers was moved by Florence’s devastation along the Carolina coast and sprung into action.
“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,” the Panthers said. “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.”
Peppers also donated more than $300,000 to the University of North Carolina’s Light on the Hill Society Scholarship fund, which supports African-American students. Peppers has donated to the fund in the past as well.
“On the field, Peppers has been one of the most prolific defensive ends to ever play the game,” the Panthers said. “A nine-time Pro Bowler, Peppers has played in 172 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NFL among position players. Peppers is the oldest active defensive player in the NFL and his 262 career games played rank sixth among all defenders in NFL history.”
Peppers is in his 10th season, ranks second among all defensive players, and holds the franchise record for sacks, forced fumbles, and blocked field goals.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air on the eve of Super Bowl LIII on CBS.
Five-hundred-thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the winner.