The Chiefs announced shortly before Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos that their nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award is linebacker Derrick Johnson.
I couldn't agree more. I've said a few times that DJ is a true pro, always willing to deal with the media and always comes off as honest. He's a good spokesperson for the team.
"Being nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a great honor," Johnson said, via the Chiefs press release. "While we are all concerned about what happens between the lines on Sunday as football players, being a good citizen and ambassador to the community is the part of the job that doesn't get as much attention or recognition but remains very important to myself and many players on this team and around the league. It's very humbling to be nominated to represent the Kansas City Chiefs for this prestigious award."
Each NFL team nominates one person. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the winner at the Super Bowl. The Chiefs own the NFL rec
The Chiefs have a little more on his off-the-field initiatives:
His "Defend the Dream Foundation" was established to help make a difference in the lives of under-served children. To help reach those individuals, Johnson partnered with the United Way this year on its "Team NFL" campaign, striving to cut the country's high school dropout rate in half by 2018. Johnson, along with other professional athletes, recruits volunteers in hopes of providing students with a support network of ample tutors. Through this initiative, he has provided incentives such as purchasing game tickets and offering memorabilia to help recruit pledges to join him in helping keep kids in school.
Very cool and well-deserved.