The Detroit Lions announced on Thursday that defensive end Trey Flowers is their 2020 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, given to the player who displays the most excellence off the field for charity work as well as performance on the field.
“Walter Payton was a great person, what he stood for. A legacy lives on forever,” Flowers said in an official statement. “It’s about the things that you do with the time that you have on this Earth. I just hope that a long time from now, people can remember the impact that I had on their lives and the impact that I had on the community. I hope that my foundation can continue to do great things in the community. I just want to inspire, I want to encourage because I know how important it is. This world, in order to get better we have to inculcate the things that we’ve experienced and the knowledge that we have on to the youth, which leads them to be even better.”
Since arriving in Detroit, Flowers has been at the forefront of the Lions’ community outreach programs. Last year, he established his own Flowers of the Future Foundation, hoping to build communities from the ground up through youth programs. His foundation has already accomplished many goals, like raising $15,000 to the Huntsville Inner City Learning Center, hosting a breast cancer awareness event in Detroit, and starting a scholarship for students in Huntsville.
"It's about the things that you do with the time that you have on Earth. I just hope that a long time from now, people can remember the impact that I had on their lives and the impact that I had on the community."— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 10, 2020
- @III_Flowers, our Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee #WPMOY pic.twitter.com/z4otIUerru
Flowers has also played a huge part in the team’s social justice initiatives this year. He was a prominent speaker during the team’s demonstration following the shooting of Jacob Blake. He also spoke passionately about how his grandparents inspired him to vote and helped encouraging others to vote.
By being one of the 32 finalists around the league, Flowers will receive a $40,000 donation to the charity of his choice. The winner, who will be decided after the regular season, will be awarded a $250,000 donation. Additionally, from today until January 21, the player with the most votes on Twitter will receive a $25,000 donation. Use the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge and “Flowers” to vote for him. You can see a full list of the 32 nominees here.