Grady Jarrett is rightly lauded for his efforts on the football field, and now he’s being commended for his dedication off of it. The fourth-year defensive tackle is the Falcons’ 2018 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, an honor that recognizes a player’s charitable work in the community.
The league’s formal recipient will be announced during Super Bowl LIII, but each nominee will have the distinction of wearing the Walter Payton Man of the Year sticker on his helmet for the remainder of the season.
For the Falcons, that will be Grady Jarrett.
“Besides the aspect of just playing football — which I love to do and I excel at it — I also want to be known as somebody who has used their platform to make somebody’s life better,” Jarrett said, via the team’s media relations staff.
Jarrett’s tireless commitment to a variety of causes has made him an inspiring ambassador for the Atlanta Falcons. He’s donated his time and energy to champion social justice efforts, joining with the At Promise Center and Thomasville Heights Boys & Girls Club to spearhead an anti-bullying campaign.
As a rookie out of Clemson in 2015 he started “Big Men Don’t Bully,” an educational initiative to counsel students on the impacts of bullying, and the constructive paths that witnesses to such behavior can take. The “Big Men Don’t Bully” enterprise has brought him to speak to students and elected officials throughout the state of Georgia.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a prestigious honor that celebrates the off-the-field work a player conducts to give back to his community. With his relentless devotion to ending bullying, the Falcons could not have selected a more deserving recipient than Grady Jarrett.