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Tyrann Mathieu is Chiefs’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his works in KC

·4 min read
Tammy Ljungblad/

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu spent Monday night giving Christmas gifts to local families at a FosterAdopt Connect dinner.

FosterAdopt’s mission is to serve “neglected and abused children and their families,” and Mathieu greeted kids and their parents.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that on Tuesday morning Mathieu was named the Chiefs’ nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

The NFL said the award is “considered the league’s most prestigious honor (that) recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”

One player from all 32 teams is nominated and the winner will be announced at the NFL Honors, which is held the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI.

“I’m very honored to be nominated as the Chiefs Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year,” Mathieu said in a news release. “This team and community are very important to me. I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of people in Kansas City, many who are going through difficult times. I think anytime you have an opportunity to lend your hand or even give a little bit of hope, that’s always a good thing.”

Each of the team nominees receives up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their favorite charity, the NFL said. The winner of the award will receive a $250,000 donation to their charity of choice.

“The Tyrann Mathieu Foundation was created to impact people in the community, and I look forward to all of our events each and every year,” Mathieu said in the release. “It’s always important to dive into the community, get to know people and make yourself a part of their lives.

“I’m proud and grateful to help the people of Kansas City who do so much for us, and I want to thank my foundation team and the Chiefs for their constant support. There are many other players who do so much for their communities, so I’m honored for this recognition. I think we all face different adversities, so it’s important to share hope. I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of others here in Kansas City and in my hometown of New Orleans.”

Chiefs fans can use Twitter to help Mathieu’s foundation secure even more money. Whichever player receives the most tweets between Dec. 7 and Jan. 17 will received a $25,000 for their charity. A $10,000 donation will be given to the second-place player and third place will get a $5,000 donation.

Fans must tweet #WPMOYChallenge and Mathieu’s last name or his Twitter handle (@Mathieu_Era) to cast a vote.

The Chiefs highlighted some of the work Mathieu, who made the All-Pro Team the previous two seasons, has done since coming to Kansas City.

  • Mathieu and his foundation worked with Harvesters, to donate 30,000 meals to families affected by COVID-19 in March 2020

  • He partnered with KCSP (610 AM) for a “radiothon” event that benefited Kansas City non-profits, Hope House, ReStart and The BMA Foundation

  • “Tyrann’s Teachers” gave gift baskets to 32 teachers in the Kansas City area this spring

  • Mathieu and his teammates gave 32 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City a “Back 2 School” shopping spree

  • Ahead of Thanksgiving, “Tyrann’s Turkeys” gave food to those in need

  • Mathieu is part of the Chiefs’ Leadership Council that focused on diversity education in schools, minority-owned business support and “voter registration/activation efforts”

  • Mathieu hosted a voter registration and food distribution event in the “city’s urban core”

  • He helped make Arrowhead Stadium a voting location in 2020

  • Mathieu supported the Black Lives Matter movement with a video that went viral on social media

“We’re very excited to have Tyrann Mathieu represent the Chiefs organization and the Kansas City community as our nominee for this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award,” Chiefs Chairman/CEO Clark Hunt said in a news release. “From the time he joined the Chiefs in 2019, Tyrann has been a true leader, both on and off the football field. He is one of the best safeties in the game, and he has been a major contributor to our recent success.”

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