Indianapolis – The Indianapolis Colts today named quarterback Jacoby Brissett as the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide.
Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service off the field, as well as excellence on the field. As a nominee, Brissett will wear a special helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments.
"I am honored and humbled to be named the Colts Walter Payton Man of the Year, and I appreciate all of the support I've received from my teammates and the organization," said Brissett. "As NFL players, we're privileged to play a game we love while having the platform to influence individuals and make a difference in the community. I'm proud to have the opportunity to set a good example and highlight the importance of giving back."
"Jacoby is extremely deserving of this honor and he embodies everything Walter Payton and the award stand for," said Colts Head Coach Frank Reich. "I cannot overstate the importance of Jacoby Brissett to this team. He is a leader, a special teammate and is highly respected by everyone in our organization. Simply put he's played a significant role in our success both on and off the field. I'm so impressed with the job Jacoby has done addressing the needs of his community both in Indianapolis and in his hometown in Florida. His conviction, vision and action have made tangible changes and lasting impacts while influencing those around him to do the same."
As a leader of the Colts players' social impact committee, Brissett has been one of the most active players in the Indianapolis community, using his platform to promote societal change:
- He advocated for the importance of every citizen's right to vote and his efforts resulted in 100 percent of the team registering to vote for the 2020 elections.
- As a part of the NFL's My Cause My Cleats initiative, Brissett chose to bring awareness to the Indianapolis Urban League, whose mission is to assist Black Americans, other people of color and underserved individuals achieve social and economic equality.
- An advocate for education, he has developed a relationship with Indianapolis Public Schools and donated $50,000 on behalf of the Players Coalition for internet hotspots for students
- Brissett has attended every Colts Community Monday event this season, including six meal distributions, a visit to the local Juvenile Detention Center and meetings with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to have discussions around community-police relations.
- In October, he hosted a Q&A with other athletes that centered around Black history, the importance of the Black athlete and how individuals can make a difference in their communities.
Brissett's philanthropic endeavors are not exclusive to Indiana, as he is also a community leader in his hometown of Riviera Beach, Fla.
- During the 2020 offseason, he organized community bicycle rides to create unity and open community dialogue with local law enforcement. The event has continued to take place weekly since.
- This Thanksgiving, he helped organize a food distribution that provided 500 meals to families in the community.
For the third 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 LV. The 2020 winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the week of Super Bowl LV, on CBS.
All 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The final award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's sixth annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at NFL.com/manoftheyear.
New this year, fans can win NFL Shop gift cards and additional money for their favorite nominee's charity. Each Monday during the #WPMOYChallenge, Nationwide will ask fans to respond on Twitter with their favorite nominee and one randomly selected fan each week will win a $100 NFL Shop gift card and $2,500 for their favorite nominee's charity.