The Detroit Lions announced on Tuesday morning that fullback/tight end/superback Jason Cabinda is their nominee for the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. That award is presented to the player in the NFL who displayed “outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence off the field.”
“Guys like Jason Cabinda can change the world,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said in a written statement. “He is a man of principle who sets such a positive example for our entire locker room. Since the day I met him, he has embodied what it means to be a leader on and off the field. With our platform in today’s NFL, it is our duty to help lift up the lives of others, and Jason carries this responsibility with dignity and honor. We are thrilled to nominate him as the Lions’ representative for the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.”
All other teams revealed their candidates for the award on Tuesday as well. The winner will be announced during the league’s postseason award show. You can see all of the nominees here, and the NFL’s website has more about Cabinda’s off-field contributions here.
Truly humbled I know this touches my mothers heart different knowing she always taught me it will be how you made people feel that will leave a lasting impact! Thank you for this honor! Hope I can only continue to give back to this city! @CabindaNatalie https://t.co/YpQUEqALVH— Jason Cabinda (@jasoncabinda) December 7, 2021
“Walter Payton’s legacy embodies so many things,” Cabinda said in a statement. “He was one of the greatest running backs on the field, and he truly looked out for people that didn’t have a voice and gave them a voice. I think within my character, I hope to embody Walter Payton in the sense of wanting to look out for others and wanting to be somebody who gives back and be somebody who remembers their roots and where they came from. When you’re in this position, you can have such an impact on these communities. You can have an impact knowing that the person that is standing in front of them is a person that has been in their shoes and has been sitting in their seats.”
If you want too get to know Cabinda better, we interviewed him last month as part of our Movember campaign.
During that interview, he told us why being active in the Detroit community was so important to him.
“I think for me, I know it’s really important to give time. I think we really take for granted, in our positions—being a Lions player, being an NFL player—just how far along, especially the kids, people of need—just how much it means to them,” Cabinda said.