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Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell has been named the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Considered the league's most prestigious honor, 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.
"Calais Campbell's impact extends far beyond the field, into communities throughout Phoenix, Jacksonville and beyond," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "During his 12 seasons in the league, he has been a tremendous role model for the youth he serves through his CRC Foundation and is incredibly deserving of the league's most prestigious honor."
This was the third time Campbell has been named his team's Man of the Year, receiving the Arizona Cardinals' nomination in both 2011 and 2014. Campbell has been selected for the Pro Bowl four times and was named the 2020 Pro Bowl Defensive MVP. Campbell formed the CRC Foundation alongside his mother Natea in 2009, and has engaged in numerous charitable initiatives throughout his 12-year career. The CRC Foundation — named for his late father, Charles, who passed away in 2003 — is committed to the enhancement of the community through the teaching of critical life skills to young people. Through sports, creative talents, vocational skills, financial skills and quality health and nutrition, the CRC Foundation is dedicated to developing young people into empowered and self-aware leaders for the future.
This season, Campbell started Season of Giving, a fundraising campaign based on his on-field performance: $1,000 for a Jaguars win, $5,000 for a sack, $2,500 for half of sack, $2,000 for a tackle for loss and $10,000 for a blocked kick/turnover. The CRC Foundation chose four charities as part of his Season of Giving — Feeding Northeast Florida in September, the Clara White Mission in October, the Wounded Warrior Project in November and the United Way in December. Before returning to his hometown of Denver on Sept. 29, 2019, Calais donated an additional $5,000 each to Denver-based charities: the Beckwourth Outdoor Education, Denver Police Athletic League, Hiawatha Davis Rec Center and the Rose Andom Center.
Campbell was the 2018 recipient of the Bart Starr Award, given to the NFL player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field, and the winner of the 2015 Pop Warner Humanitarian Award. Each year, he hosts Christmas with Calais, a holiday shopping spree for local kids who have completed extra lessons in financial literacy, and he donates meals during Thanksgiving to families in need. Campbell has dedicated time and resources to the Ronald McDonald House, the benefactor of his foundation's bowling event in 2018.
In the spring of 2018, Campbell hosted a coding camp with Microsoft and the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida, providing 25 kids with the chance to learn about career opportunities in technology. In June 2019, he welcomed 250 kids at the Calais Campbell JaxPAL Youth Football and STEM Camp, combining his football acumen and interest in mentoring today's youth through education. Campbell has also made semi-weekly visits to Northwestern Middle School as part of his CRC Book Club, fostering a reading-friendly community at an underperforming school in downtown Jacksonville, and he makes appearances at colleges and high schools around Northeast Florida to offer encouragement to students and have open conversations about social justice issues.
Campbell will receive a donation of $250,000 to a charity of his choice. All other 31 nominees will receive a donation of up to $50,000 in their name to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
To learn more about all 32 team nominees, visit nfl.com/manoftheyear.