Defensive Tackle Dan Williams
Alameda, Calif--Defensive lineman Dan Williams is the Oakland Raiders' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award, which was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, is considered the league's most prestigious honor. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community to be considered for the national award.
Williams has been an anchor for the Raiders both on the field and in the community. Williams is in his second season with the Raiders and seventh overall in the NFL. The former University of Tennessee star entered the NFL as a first round draft choice by Arizona and signed with the Raiders as a free agent in 2015.
Off the field, Williams is dedicated to making a difference in the community by being active in a variety of causes, including diabetes as his late father suffered from the disease. Earlier this year, Williams joined American Diabetes Association Team Tackle to campaign for more funding at the offices of Northern California Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein. In addition, this summer, Williams campaigned with the ADA to raise awareness and funds for summer camps for kids suffering from diabetes. The camp targets children with diabetes and involves learning about proper nutrition, fitness and diabetes management skills.
In October, he spoke to youth football players at the Cove School in Marin County about teamwork and leadership. In December, 2015, Williams sponsored families from the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland for Christmas. He is already planning on making that activity bigger and better this year.
The Memphis, Tennessee native participated in the "Super Kids Super Sharing" event as well as the Super Bowl Legacy Press Conference earlier this year and is working with the "Filling the Gap Foundation," which will bring healthy foods to underserved students in the greater Bay Area.
Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists, and the winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.
A total of $1 million will be donated in the name of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, with $500,000 going to a charity of his choice and $500,000 supporting the expansion of Character Playbook across all NFL markets. The two finalists will each receive a $125,000 donation to the charity of their choice and a $125,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook and the additional 29 team winners will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to implement Character Playbook in their club market. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
To further celebrate and encourage fan support of the 32 team Man of the Year nominees, Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Award, will host the second annual Charity Challenge. As part of the social media challenge, each nominee will have a unique hashtag--#WilliamsWPMOYChallenge for Dan Williams--and fans will be encouraged to tweet using the player hashtags. The player hashtag that generates the most mentions will win an additional $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide.