On Tuesday, the Detroit Lions announced that quarterback Jared Goff has been named as their nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year. The award is given to the NFL player who most exemplifies “outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”
“It’s an incredible honor and something I’m proud of and don’t take for granted,” Goff said in an official statement. “It’s important to lend a hand, not only financially but with your energy, and show the community that you’re going to be a part of their lives and a part of the solution. It’s about the people you’re giving back to and it’s about wrapping your arms around a community and wrapping your arms around kids and making sure you’re there for them, and I’m proud to be able to do it. Being a leader in the community and being a leader on our team and this organization, you want to be able to help, and there’s so many places you can in Detroit.”
Since landing in Detroit, Goff has been a very active member in the local community. Back in January, our own Erik Schlitt wrote about Goff’s passion for community work, specifically with the younger generations.
Back in Week 5 of 2021, Goff was named NFLPA’s Community MVP after helping distribute 40,000 pounds of food to families in need. More recently, Goff partnered with the Give Merit’s FATE Program—a mentorship program to help develop academic and leadership skills amongst youth. Goff has partnered with four specific students to help design and create clothing products that help fund college scholarships. (More info on that here.)
He’s also worked closely with the Detroit Lions Academy.
Giving back: Jared Goff unveiled the new JG16 STEAM Lab at the Detroit Lions Academy— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 21, 2022
"It's really cool for me to know that I was able to be a part of this," @JaredGoff16 said. "It's important to me." pic.twitter.com/mgTlAx69bU
“Jared has done a remarkable job connecting with this community since the day he became a Detroit Lion, and it’s no surprise that our city has embraced him in return,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said in a statement. “His work in both Los Angeles and Detroit so far throughout his young NFL career speaks for itself. He sets an incredible example for not only his teammates, but more importantly the younger generation that looks up him.”
For just being nominated for the award, Goff will receive $40,000 to the charity of his choosing. If he wins the award given out at the end of the year, he can receive up to $250,000 to the charity of his choice.
There is also an online contest where fans can vote for their favorite candidate. Simply tweet the player’s last name or Twitter handle along with the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge, and the player with the most tweets between December 6 and January 8 will receive $25,000 to the charity of their choice.
Here’s a look at each team’s nominee.
The 32 nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award: pic.twitter.com/5hXyx4yZxo— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 6, 2022
UPDATE: The Lions posted an awesome video of some of the kids Goff has worked with revealing to him that he was this year’s nominee for the award: