The Indianapolis Colts announced on Thursday that the team has named quarterback Jacoby Brissett as its ‘Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award’ nominee.
Each of the NFL’s 32 teams is given a nominee, and the award is given annually to each team’s representative who best embodies the following qualities and social efforts:
“The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.
Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, 32 players are selected as their team’s Man of the Year and become eligible to win the national award.
The winner of the award each year receives a $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of choice. All other 31 nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.”
Despite this year’s demotion at starting quarterback, the former Colts captain remains beloved in the team’s locker room as a veteran presence and leader. He was at the team’s forefront of speaking out against racial and social justice issues this past offseason.
Via Colts.com, Brissett’s other community and philanthropic efforts include:
As a leader of the Colts players’ social impact committee, Brissett has been one of the most active players in the Indianapolis community, using his platform to promote societal change:
He advocated for the importance of every citizen’s right to vote and his efforts resulted in 100 percent of the team registering to vote for the 2020 elections.
As a part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative, Brissett chose to bring awareness to the Indianapolis Urban League, whose mission is to assist Black Americans, other people of color and underserved individuals achieve social and economic equality.
An advocate for education, he has developed a relationship with Indianapolis Public Schools and donated $50,000 on behalf of the Players Coalition for internet hotspots for students
Brissett has attended every Colts Community Monday event this season, including six meal distributions, a visit to the local Juvenile Detention Center and meetings with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to have discussions around community-police relations.
In October, he hosted a Q&A with other athletes that centered around Black history, the importance of the Black athlete and how individuals can make a difference in their communities.
While this season hasn’t gone as Brissett would’ve ideally hoped from a playing time perspective, he’s remained available and ready—and has even carved out a very effective niche as the Colts ‘short yardage specialist’ behind center with his ability to QB sneak.
Peyton Manning was the last Colts player to ultimately win the award back in 2005.
However, even being nominated is a tremendous honor and is worthy of recognition.