JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –The Jacksonville Jaguars have nominated sixth-year DT Malik Jackson for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the club announced today.
"The NFL is comprised of outstanding, generous men of character who give back to their communities," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Walter Payton represented the very best on and off the field and this year's Man of the Year nominees exemplify his legacy of philanthropy and leadership. We are proud to support players as they use their platforms to drive positive change."
Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, Jackson was selected as the Jaguars' Man of the Year and is now eligible to win the national award. Considered one of the League's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.
Jackson has a long history of supporting the military, especially in the Jacksonville community. Jackson's own foundation, Malik's Gifts, supports military, at-risk youth and their families, as well as pet adoption. Through Malik's Gifts, Jackson has sponsored multiple events designed to support the military. In 2017, Jackson committed $5,000 to Jacksonville's Five Star Veterans Center that provides safe and secure housing for displaced veterans facing homelessness and unemployment. His donation will specifically be used to enhance the center's career division, adding new paint, office computers, webcams for Skype interviews, desks and chairs to aid in veterans' ability to build their resumes and apply for jobs. In addition, Jackson hosted Gold Star Wives Day that honored 50 women who are widows of service members who have died while serving their country. Jackson's $2,000 donation provided child care and dinner at a local restaurant for 50 Gold Star wives, and treated them to a special night out on the town.
Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears RB Walter Payton. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour prime time awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.
Starting in Week 14, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette will appear in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. Jackson will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
Five hundred thousand dollars will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner. A total of $250,000 will be donated to the winner's charity of choice and $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook. All of the 29 other nominees will receive a $50,000 donation to their charity of choice and an additional $50,000 donation in their name to expand Character Playbook. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and United Way Worldwide.
The NFL announced last month a Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, a new initiative this season to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As a Man of the Year nominee, Jackson received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to community heroes. On Tuesday, Jackson visited Five Star Veterans Center in Jacksonville, a local nonprofit that provides safe and secure housing for displaced veterans. After touring the facility, Jackson surprised retired Marine Col. Len Loving, CEO of Five Star Veterans, with the two Super Bowl tickets. Jackson also personally donated $2,000 to cover any necessary travel expenses.
For more information on the nominees around the league and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.