CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been named the team's nominee for the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his charitable contributions away from the field.
Newton is being recognized by the NFL for his work off the field, including his foundation and athletic events for kids. Since 2012, Newton's foundation has provided $5.12 million in grant funding, year-round programming resources and donations to schools and non-profit organizations in Charlotte and his hometown of Atlanta.
Newton's foundation also hosts annual 7-on-7 football tournaments that featured 85 high school teams and over 2,000 students in 2019.
The Panthers' QB also helped feed over 1,300 kids and their families at his annual Thanksgiving Jam in Charlotte last month. It was Newton's first public appearance in months after suffering a foot that sidelined him for the majority of the 2019-20 season.
“I was in a place where I wasn’t used to being,” Newton said of his injury. “And you know that a team that you’re a part of is equipped with everything except your presence. But at the same time, I think it’s extremely important to remove my ego and put the team first and put others first. Just like tonight.”
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is considered one of the League’s most prestigious honors. Three of the 32 team 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.
Fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite player in the fifth annual Nationwide Charity Challenge. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used most between December 12 and January 12 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice.