HENDERSON, Nev. – The public is encouraged to support Raiders tight end Darren Waller's nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Awardby participating in Nationwide's Charity Challenge. The social media campaign offers the Raiders tight end a chance to secure additional donations from Nationwide for the Darren Waller Foundation. Fans are urged to vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge + Waller, particularly on January 4 and 5 when votes count as double and the first player to reach one million votes receives $10,000 for his charity.
He is vying with 31 other nominees League-wide and the player whose unique hashtag is used the most between December 7 and January 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to his charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide.
Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Waller, as well as the other nominees, will receive a $25,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice, with a chance to secure additional donations during Super Bowl related Man of the Year events. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive a $235,000 donation to the charity of their choice, with a chance of an additional donation when the winner participates in Super Bowl related Man of the Year events. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Waller's charity of choice is the Darren Waller Foundation, which was founded in 2020 "…to equip youth to avoid and overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol and support youth and their families during their recovery and treatment journey." Waller created the Foundation to give back and give others a chance for recovery and success. This is personal for Waller as he too faced addiction challenges that nearly cost him his football career and his life.
Raiders Alumnus and Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda was named NFL Man of the Year in 1974 while playing for the Silver & Black. For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LVI. The 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI, on ABC.