This morning, the Kansas City Chiefs announced that QB Patrick Mahomes was named the team’s nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide.
One of the NFL’s highest individual honors, it recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Mahomes is joined by 31 other candidates – one from each NFL team – who were also announced today.
“We are honored to have Patrick Mahomes 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 and CEO Clark Hunt said. “This award is arguably the most prestigious honor the NFL has as it identifies greatness both on and off the field, and I believe Patrick embodies the true characteristics this award recognizes. Since joining the Chiefs in 2017, Patrick has continued to display an unwavering commitment to helping those in need. The work he does through the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation has impacted many in our community, and there really is no limit to what he can and will continue to do for Chiefs Kingdom and beyond.”
“I’m incredibly grateful to be recognized as the Chiefs Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year,” Mahomes said. “I know how special this honor is and the history behind it here in Kansas City. Brittany and I take great pride in the platform we have to give back to a community that has given us so much over the last six years. Through the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, we’ve been able to make an impact and support underserved children, but we still have a long way to go and we’re going to continue to provide resources to give these kids more and more opportunities. To be recognized for such a prestigious award means the world to me and I’m thankful to represent my foundation, Walter Payton and his family, the Hunt family, this team and all of Chiefs Kingdom on such a significant stage.”
For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as finalists 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 nationally the Thursday before Super Bowl LVII, on NBC.
All 32 nominees will receive a donation of up to $40,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide. Along with the other 31 nominees, Mahomes 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.
Since entering the league as the Chiefs 10th overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mahomes has made a significant impact both on and off the field. In 2019, he established his foundation, 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, which has placed an emphasis on improving the lives of children with a continued focus on supporting health, wellness, and various communities in need of resources. To date, nearly $2.75 million in grants has been distributed by the foundation, and the impact felt by the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation has been acknowledged locally as the Kansas City Business Journal ranked it among Kansas City’s Biggest Charitable Trusts and Foundations by grant volume.
There have been multiple seminal moments for Mahomes and his foundation, and one of the more recent took place around the start of the 2021 NFL season. At a ceremony transpiring 58 years to the day following the iconic “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Mahomes and his Foundation re-dedicated Kansas City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park. That moment was made possible thanks to a $1 million donation by 15 and the Mahomies Foundation toward the playground that was designed following a series of community engagement meetings with the intention of celebrating Dr. King and creating a place that is inclusive and accessible for children of all abilities. Another area of focus for Mahomes and his foundation is on promoting a healthier lifestyle for area youth. In support of that initiative, he hosted a OneSight Vision Clinic, providing free eye exams and glasses to more than 100 children in the Kansas City area. Additionally, via the 15 and the Mahomies wellness program/playbook, he’s helped to encourage dental screenings and care throughout Kansas City (Kansas) schools.
In 2022, the foundation has focused on continuing to activate its “15 for 15” programing. As a result, groups of 15 have been supported in various ways, including sending underserved youth to Chiefs games, as well as football games at his alma mater, Texas Tech; funding adoptions for rescue dogs complete with a year’s worth of supplies for their forever homes; funding supplies for art-focused afterschool programs and traditional classrooms; funding Camp Hope scholarships for youth battling cancer; outfitting youth football teams with equipment and jerseys; covering educational tutorial programs for students in the urban core; funding scholarships for the children of fallen or active-duty military members; supporting athletes competing in Special Olympics; and providing assistance to anti-bullying organizations for in-school publicity.
In addition, the foundation continues to donate to those dealing with food insecurity in 2022. Through partnerships with food banks, the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation has distributed more than 15,000 meals. Another area of focus for Mahomes and his foundation is combating illiteracy as more than 19,000 students have pledged to participate in the Read for 15 program, an initiative that saw a 12 percent increase in reading scores by participating schools last year. Likewise, supporting volunteerism amongst youth has also been an emphasis of the foundation. This year, more than 500 youth have pledged to the “Volunteer for 15” program.
Prior to the 2020 general election, Mahomes was a vocal leader partnering with RISE to Vote, encouraging the players and coaches to register and actively participate in the general election. Leading into Election Day itself, he also teamed with the Hunt Family Foundation via an Inspire Change grant to turn GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium into the largest polling center in the history of the Kansas City Election Board, serving more than 2,100 voters.
This season, Mahomes continues his on-field success at a record-setting pace, leading the club to a 9-2 record, sitting atop the AFC. He’s completed 292 of his 442 pass attempts for 3,585 yards and 29 touchdowns with just eight interceptions, giving him a passer rating of 105.3. Through 11 games, he leads the league in yards, touchdowns, first downs (190) and passes of 25+ yards (35). The sixth-year QB has led his team to four-consecutive home AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowl appearances and earned NFL MVP (2018) and Super Bowl MVP (2019). For his career, Mahomes owns a 59-15 (.798) record in his 74 starts, completing 1,842 of his 2,787 attempts for 22,576 yards, 180 touchdowns and just 45 interceptions, giving him a 105.7 passer rating. Mahomes has a franchise record 38 career 300-yard performances, including six in 2022. Since 2018 when he officially took over the starting QB role, he leads the league in yards (22,292), touchdowns (180), 25+ yard completions (192) and first down throws (1,101). With only 44 interceptions, he owns a +136 TD/INT ratio, the highest mark of any active QB in that span. Mahomes has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times (2018-2021), including being named the Offensive MVP in his first Pro Bowl. Following his 2018 season, Mahomes was named AP All-Pro first-team, as well as AP Offensive Player of the Year.
Each Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee is eligible for the WPMOY Challenge, a Twitter contest which gives fans the opportunity to show support for their favorite nominee and offers players a chance to secure an additional donation for their charity. Fans vote by using the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge and the player’s last name or Twitter handle between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8. Each retweet counts as a vote. The player who receives the most votes wins $25,000 for their charity and the first player to reach 1 million votes receives $10,000, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.