DE Carlos Dunlap is the Bengals' nominee for the 2018 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 recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
"It's an unbelievable honor to be nominated for this award," said Dunlap. "I'm thankful for the people here in Cincinnati and my teammates who are all active in the community. To get this acknowledgement speaks volumes for the work I am trying to do and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue to give back."
"Our players have a great platform to reach people in the community and Carlos has worked really hard to go above and beyond with his community service," said head coach Marvin Lewis.
Dunlap has been involved in the community since his rookie season. He launched the Carlos Dunlap Foundation with a focus on education, offering tutoring, mentorship and after school events. Dunlap has expanded his efforts to include an anti-bullying campaign, breast cancer awareness and support for the troops. Dunlap was previously nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2015.
Dunlap is in the second season of his anti-bullying literacy tour. Dunlap made stops at five schools in Cincinnati and met with kids in Charlotte, Kansas City and Baltimore during road trips. As part of the campaign, Dunlap is asking kids to read the new book Misunderstood Micah, winner of the National Youth Foundation's Student Book Scholar contest. Dunlap and the kids talk about the book and bullying and then take part in an activity to encourage kindness.
Additionally, Dunlap held his 5th annual breast cancer spa day in October where he treated women battling breast cancer and survivors to manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. He was joined by several teammates as they listened to the women share personal stories about their diagnosis and fight. Dunlap also gave the women tickets to the Bengals Crucial Catch game, which focuses on breast cancer awareness.
Dunlap, the son of two military veterans, was one of five NFL players who took part in a USO-NFL tour of military bases in Germany and Italy this offseason. Dunlap had the opportunity to meet with NFL fans overseas and learn more about the challenges they face while serving.
As a nominee, Dunlap 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.
New this year, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as finalists and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LIII. The 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 2, the eve of Super Bowl LIII, on CBS. NFL Honors will be at Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
$500,000 will be donated in the name of the 2018 winner. $250,000 will be donated in his name to expand Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way's digital character education program. An additional donation of $250,000 will be donated to the charity of his choice. All other 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook, and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 4th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote by using #WPMOYChallenge on Twitter with Dunlap's last name somewhere in the post between December 6 and January 13. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
The Man of the Year Award has been given annually by the NFL since 1970. It was renamed in 1999 for Payton, the Chicago Bears' Pro Football Hall of Fame running back. Two Bengals are past winners of the league award, QB Ken Anderson in 1975 and OT Anthony Munoz in 1991.
To learn more about Dunlap's nomination, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
DE Carlos Dunlap has been selected as the Bengals' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award which recognizes outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.