Lawrence Guy has been in this situation before, but that does not mean he has to do the old “act like you’ve been there before” routine. That much was made clear this week, when the veteran defensive lineman talked about his personal feelings on once again being nominated for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The New England Patriots have selected Guy for a second straight week, making him one of 32 players competing for the trophy honoring players’ off-field contributions and community work. The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony in February, and guy is as deserving a candidate as any.
The 32-year-old, after all, has been invested in doing good ever since arriving in New England back in 2017. The nomination for the award is therefore a recognition of his work.
“It means a lot,” Guy told reporters this week. “We like to go into the community. Me and my wife love to get involved in the community and put roots in those grounds and help out families that are in need. But the biggest thing is to inspire people for a change and inspire people to help everybody else out in the future.
“So, being nominated for this award is heartwarming and a true blessing that everything I do is being noticed and acknowledged.”
Guy and his wife, Andrea, organize four major events every year through their Lawrence Guy Foundation. As he noted this week, his favorite among them is doing baby showers for single mothers in need of support.
The first of them was held last year, with a second edition happening this November. 36 women from organizations like Bridge Over Troubled Waters, La Colaborativa, Abby’s House, Casa Myrna, and Sojourner House were invited to participate. The foundation provided more than $80,000 worth of essential goods.
For Guy, investing time in helping others stems from a lesson learned from his father, who helped support a family who had lost their belongings in a Christmas Eve fire. But even beyond those obvious hardships, the 12-year NFL veteran stressed the need to create a supportive environment for others.
“It’s understanding that we might not know what somebody is going through next to us,” he said. “The local person on the street, the person that works at the mall, the person that works valet, or the man that’s working next to you in your locker room, you don’t know what they’re going through.
“So, being able to help somebody out, to uplift them, that pretty much does it all for me. That builds why we continue to do this in the community, because it’s not about what happens now, it’s about what happens next time in the next couple years that it continues to go.”
Guy’s work in the community was also mentioned by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during his Tuesday press conference — and used as an opportunity to praise his teammates’ efforts as well.
“Lawrence and Andrea do a great job. They are involved in a lot of things with community work around here. Very proud of them,” Belichick said. “I think we have a lot of guys that are involved on that. Cody [Davis] won an NFL MVP Award earlier in the year; [Jonathan] Jones last week, the weekly award they give out.
“Honestly, I think you can nominate Lawrence Guy, [Matthew] Slater and Devin McCourty for Man of the Year every week, every month, every year. We have a lot of guys — and certainly happy that Lawrence got recognized — but recognizing all the other things that our players do on and off the field. I’m proud of these guys.”
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