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Bruce Irvin Named Raiders' Nominee For Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award

Posted Dec 7, 2017

Bruce Irvin is the Raiders’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, it was announced today.

Bruce Irvin is the Raiders’ nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD, it was announced today. Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, Irvin was selected as the Raiders’ Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the League’s most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.

Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.

Irvin has been an impact player for the Oakland Raiders, both on the field and in the community. Irvin is in his second season with the Silver and Black after a four-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks who selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft. The dynamic linebacker’s six forced fumbles last season set a single season franchise mark and tied for the NFL lead. 

Irvin is just as influential off the field. He hosted his Third Annual Bruce Irvin Football Clinic in Charleston, West Virginia, providing the chance for kids in the area to learn from current NFL players. He also supported his current and former teammates’ community initiatives throughout the summer. Irvin was a volunteer coach at Michael Crabtree’s annual youth football camp in Dallas as well as Justin Ellis’ youth football camp in Monroe, Louisiana.

Irvin also participated in former Seattle teammate Michael Robinson’s Charity Weekend in Richmond, Virginia, volunteering as a coach for the youth football camp as well as serving as a celebrity waiter during the charity dinner. A man of his word, he fulfilled a summer Twitter campaign promise of signing every Bruce Irvin jersey fans mailed to him. 

Irvin has immersed himself in community outreach in 2017. On his off day, he volunteered with the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry with his teammates, helping distribute food to 157 low income families for a total of 564 people fed, 187 of which were children.

On the heels of a late night, cross country flight following the team’s Sunday Night Football game in Washington, DC, Irvin spearheaded a Monday morning visit to Oakland UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital that included the entire defensive line unit. In a testament to Bruce’s leadership, not a single member missed the trip despite running on just a few hours of sleep.

Irvin also participated in the team’s Crucial Catch community event the Raiders’ Alameda Facility during which players and 15 Breast Cancer survivors and their guests were led through a step-by-step group art lesson to create custom Crucial Catch themed artwork. As part of the NFL’s Unity Campaign, Irvin and two teammates joined 30 members of the Girls Inc. of Alameda County’s Advocating Change Together program and participated in a workshop discussing current events and issues and how to advocate for change in the community.

In response to the devastating wild fires that ravaged much of Napa and Sonoma County, Irvin was a driving force in encouraging his teammates to make financial contributions to help the relief effort for those effected by the fires. Irvin’s donation was used to purchase food, supplies and gift cards for those who lives were forever impacted by the fire’s destruction.

“We are all very proud of Bruce and his work in the community,” said Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio. “Bruce has immersed himself in community initiatives throughout the Bay Area. It is very important to the Raiders to be able to give back and we always encourage our players to look for opportunities to serve. Bruce is a great example of someone being involved and helping to make a difference in their community.”

Starting in Week 14, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette will appear in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. Irvin will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.

Five hundred thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner. $250,000 will be donated to the winner’s charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All other 29 nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide.

The NFL announced last month a Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, a new initiative this season to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As a Man of the Year nominee, Irvin received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to community heroes.

To learn more about Bruce Irvin’s nomination, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.