Each year all 32 teams nominate a player from their organization for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. This year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put forward veteran wide receiver, Mike Evans.
The reward is one of the highest honors to be bestowed upon a player in the NFL, recognizing both on the field excellence and off the field community action. No one can deny the on-field excellence from Evans, one of the league’s leading receivers despite having his season cut short. Off the field Evans’ community work is astounding, many who aren’t familiar with everything that Mike Evans does off the field will wonder how he has time.
Determined to give back to people around him, Evans has his “Mike Evans family foundation”, which supports low-income families achieve their academic dreams, in addition to supporting women and families who have been affected by domestic violence. The same foundation that Evans hosts “Catch for Christmas” during this time of year to raise money for his other charitable interests. Finding time in this busy schedule, the wideout hosted a charity bowling night, and the following day provided kids with a tour of the practice facilities, breakfast included, and gifts.
That’s just what gets published. So much of what Evans does isn’t in the public eye at all. The football camps that he hosts and appears at for free. The donations to set up scholarships. Buying teams new uniforms.
Mike Evans is truly one of the greats on and off the field. Many have said, because he’s not a diva and doesn’t draw attention to himself, Evans won’t ever receive national attention. A truly humble guy at heart, saying, “Being nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year is overwhelming.” Adding “I never thought I could be a nominee. To be in the same conversation as other players who do tremendous things in their community. I’m truly honored.” – via Buccaneers.com
The winner of this award will be announced on the eve of the Super Bowl, during the NFL honors awards evening, aired on Fox.