Allen Park, Mich.— The Detroit Lions announced today QB Jared Goff as the team's nominee for the WALTER PAYTON NFL MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY NATIONWIDE. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today.
LIONS QB JARED GOFF
"It's an incredible honor and something I'm proud of and don't take for granted. 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."
LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL
"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. 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."
From Los Angeles to Detroit, Goff's dedication to communities in which he plays has been unwavering. His passion for helping the next generation has put him at the forefront of the Detroit Lions' charitable efforts since his arrival.
Since joining the Lions in 2021, Goff has continued his long-standing devotion to youth in the community by pouring his time and resources into Detroit area schools. This year, Goff and his brand, JG16, developed a partnership with non-profit organization Give Merit's FATE Program. In collaboration with four FATE students, Goff designs and sells clothing products that ultimately provide college scholarships to students in Detroit. The group works with a designer to create clothing that captures the heart of the initiative.
Goff matches 100 percent of the profits to support FATE, which rewards 175 Detroit youth working on real-life business projects with a scholarship upon completion of the program. In 2021, every dollar accrued by the JG16 apparel line was donated to the Detroit Lions Foundation and distributed throughout the Detroit community for various youth initiatives.
Over the last two years, Goff has continuously identified areas of need at Detroit Lions Academy, an alternative middle school aimed at providing over-age students a path to graduation. In an effort to aid engaging curriculum at DLA, this year Goff established the JG16 STEAM Lab to help students acquire skills by participating in projects that cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, and flexibility.
The project brought to life a remodeled creative space to provide inspiration to learn, and equipped the classroom with new furniture, work benches, tools and Lego walls. Goff was able to enhance the STEAM Lab with $10,000 gifted from the NFLPA after winning the 2021 Week 5 NFLPA Community MVP Award. In one of the most food-insecure areas of the country, Goff earned the recognition for hosting a mobile food pantry at Ford Field that provided over 40,000 lbs. of food to over 500 Detroit-area families in need.
Goff's commitment to local schools began in Los Angeles through his many efforts surrounding the Irvine Unified School District. Even after departing from Los Angeles, Goff continued to serve children of IUSC. He hosted virtual reading sessions, school events, book drives and founded Makerspace and STEAM Lab at Warren Elementary School alongside the JG16 Reading Zone. While playing through an uncertain COVID-19 season, Goff donated $250,000 to finance one million meals and provided IUSC with over 20,000 masks for students and their families.
As a nominee, Goff will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
All 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LVII. The 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the Thursday before Super Bowl LVII, on NBC.
The 32 nominees will also receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive up to a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 8th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name or Twitter handle. The player whose unique mention is used the most between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8 will receive a $25,000 contribution to his charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.