The Atlanta Falcons announced Thursday that the team has nominated safety Ricardo Allen for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award, which was established in 1970, 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. The winner of the award each year receives $250,000 donated to the charity of his choice. The other 31 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation in their name donated to their charity of choice.
This year’s Falcons nominee, Ricardo Allen, has been a leader both on and off the field, which the award recognizes. Allen is a part of the Falcons’ Social Justice Committee, which addresses social justice issues in Atlanta. This past year, Allen joined teammates as they visited West Point Military Academy and participated in military-based leadership training. On the field, Allen was selected to be one of the Falcons’ four permanent team captains for the 2019 season.
The only Falcons player to win the award was Warrick Dunn in 2004. Regardless if Allen wins it or not, just to be nominated is an honor, and it exemplifies the type of person he is. Congratulations, Ricardo Allen!