INDIANAPOLIS — For the fourth time in five years — and third year in a row — an Indianapolis Colts player has reached the finalist stage for one of the more prestigious honors in the game.
The National Football League announced today its eight finalists for the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, a list that includes Colts defensive end Justin Houston.
The winner — which will be selected by a vote of current NFL players, whose teams will each submit a consensus choice — will be announced during the annual NFL Honors show.
The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was created in 2014 in honor of Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr., the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The honor is presented each year "to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition," according to the league.
The 10th-year veteran Houston, the Colts’ nominee in 2020, his second season in Indianapolis, was selected to be a finalist this year by a panel of former NFL players that included Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.
The winner of this year's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice, and will also "receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models of players of all levels."
Houston is looking to become the second Colts player in five years to be selected for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award; running back Frank Gore was the league’s recipient in 2016. Quarterback Andrew Luck (2018) and T.Y. Hilton (2019) were also named finalists for the award the previous two years.
Past recipients include Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2014), Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (2015), Gore (2016), Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (2017), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (2018) and Washington Football Team running back Adrian Peterson (2019).