LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today their nomination of long snapper Nick Sundberg for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD. Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, Sundberg was selected as the Washington Redskins 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.
Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back WALTER PAYTON. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on NBC.
Sundberg was selected for his deep commitment to the community over his eight seasons with the Redskins. He has participated in countless events hosted by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, including Fuel Up to Play 60 Mini-Combines, the annual All-Star Survivors Celebration honoring women currently fighting breast cancer, Skins Santa Shoppe and many others. Throughout his years on the team, Nick has also looked for unique ways to support children that needed a little extra encouragement, providing them with an opportunity to warm up pre-game on the field with the specialists.
Most recently, Sundberg, in partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, launched the Loads of Love (LOL) laundry program at Magnolia Elementary School in Prince George's County, Md.
The LOL program installs washers and dryers in schools that serve students who lack access to clean clothes. Studies have shown that offering laundry services in schools can help boost student attendance rates, class participation and grades. The program is currently operating in three elementary schools in Prince George's County, as well as in two youth shelters in Washington, D.C. In 2018, the program will expand throughout the Redskins market area and support the installations of LOL centers in schools with need.
Sundberg approached the Redskins Charitable Foundation with the idea last fall, and donated $25,000 to kick-start the program.
"This cause [the LOL program] inspires me to help kids," Sundberg said. "Everybody deserves a fair shot, but not everybody has it. So if we can help even one more kid graduate that wouldn't have, or one more kid want to go to school that generally wouldn't, then it was totally worth it."
Sundberg also wore LOL customized cleats for the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" initiative. The proceeds from the auction of his cleats will directly benefit the LOL program.
"We are thrilled to announce Nick Sundberg as the Redskins nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year," said Jane Rodgers, Executive Director of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. "His commitment to bettering our community has never been more evident than this year, taking an idea and turning it into action by funding and helping to launch the Loads of Love laundry center program."
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. Sundberg 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 national winner. $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 other 29 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, Sundberg received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to community heroes.
To learn more about Sundberg's nomination, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.