The NFL revealed the 32 nominees for this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award on Tuesday, with one player from each of the league’s franchises competing for the prestigious trophy. The clubs choose their respective nominees themselves, picking players that — according to a press release by the NFL’s communications department — best represent the league’s “commitment to philanthropy and community impact.”
The New England Patriots’ nominee this year perfectly fits this mold: defensive tackle Lawrence Guy.
Guy has not been a cornerstone of the Patriots’ defense since his arrival as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. Guy not only helped bring a Super Bowl to New England, he also has actively been involved in the community throughout his tenure with the club.
Whether it is through his Lawrence Guy Foundation — a nonprofit aiming to inspire and help disadvantaged families achieve their full potential — or his participation in events organized by the Patriots Foundation, the 31-year-old can be counted on to make a positive impact on those associated with his presence.
“Lawrence Guy represents what a New England Patriot is and we are proud to nominate him as this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “Lawrence and his wife Andrea are involved in wide range of community initiatives in and around New England and it’s amazing to see all of the wonderful work they are doing.”
Kraft also was the one informing Guy of the nomination during a recent team meeting:
“It’s an honor,” Guy told the team after learning of the nomination. “I always tell people it’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about the time that you go out there and spend with individuals. We have this platform to use for good, and I say everybody has a voice in here. Use your voice. Your voice will be heard, doesn’t matter how big, how small. Just go out there and try to change an individual’s life because you don’t know who you might touch and who you might inspire to be great.”
The 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony ahead of Super Bowl LVI, and subsequently receive a $250,000 donation to a charity of his choice. Furthermore, all 32 nominees — among them former Patriots Logan Ryan (New York Giants) and Kenny Moore II (Indianapolis Colts) — will also receive a donation of up to $40,000 in their name to a charity picked by them.
On top of it all, fans can also vote on Twitter by using the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s name or user handle. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most during the month between Dec. 7 and Jan. 17 will receive an additional $25,000 contribution to his charity of choice, while the second- and third-placed players will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations.
Please click here to support the Lawrence Guy Foundation.