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Darren Waller honored as Raiders' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee in pregame celebration


Ahead of Sunday's Raiders-Broncos matchup, Darren Waller was celebrated in a special pregame ceremony honoring his charity and community work off the field that earned him the Raiders' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nomination presented by Nationwide.

The celebration featured the presentation of a crystal trophy with Waller's name inscribed on it and a speech from the tight end, and was capped off with a rendition of "What the World Needs Now is Love," sung by legendary singer and longtime Raiders fan Dionne Warwick.

"It's an honor to represent this organization, represent this city, represent this community. It just makes me reflect back on my life," Waller said. "I've grown a lot, since before I came here, I've grown even more since I've been here and I thank you guys for accepting me as I am."

Waller was chosen as the Silver and Black's nominee for his work through the Darren Waller Foundation, which supports at-risk youth and their families with the tools they need to avoid and overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol.

He created the foundation to give back and give others a chance for recovery and success, a cause close to his heart as he too has faced the challenges of addiction.

Over the past year, Waller has given back to the community in a variety of ways, including hosting a youth football camp, meeting virtually with children as part of Make-A-Wish and taking part in mental health discussions on a panel of NFL players.

Waller will be highlighted, alongside the 31 other nominees, in the week leading up to Super Bowl LVI for the impact on and off the field. The 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, the Thursday before the Super Bowl.

Each nominee will receive up to $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

To help Waller earn additional donations for the Darren Waller Foundation, fans can join a social media campaign which gives fans the opportunity to show support for the star tight end through Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge and WALLER.

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