The Cincinnati Bengals announced today DE Sam Hubbard as its 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.
This is the second consecutive year Hubbard has been named the Bengals' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. In 2021, he created the Sam Hubbard Foundation with the goal of bringing equitable access to food, education and a healthy lifestyle for all Cincinnatians.
"As an NFL player, I think your on-field performance is just a small part of what your legacy will be when it's all said and done," said Hubbard. "What you do for others, how you treat the people around you, and the lasting impact you leave on your community are just as important as wins and losses."
A Cincinnati native, Hubbard has been committed to serving his home community since being drafted by the Bengals in 2018. He continued several annual events through the Sam Hubbard Foundation this year, including Hubbard's Fowling Tournament in May that matched up current and former Bengals players with fans in a game mixing football and bowling. The event raised over $47,000 and helped fund programs such as Hubbard's Shop with a Pro Night, Sam's Thanksgiving Food Drive, and The Sam Hubbard Youth Football Camp.
Hubbard partnered with local non-profit Crayons to Computers this year on two initiatives that directly benefit Cincinnati-area students, beginning with a backpack drive in August in which he distributed over 650 tailored backpacks to every student in the Bellevue school district. He additionally teamed up with Kroger in October to launch Hubbard's Cupboards, a project that supports nutritional and educational needs for students in the Mt. Healthy school system. Hubbard's Cupboards serves as an on-site supplement in select schools that provides core school supplies as well as healthy snacks and hygiene products.
"I consider this nomination to be the highest honor in our league because of the incredible people that have come before me, and because of the resources and awareness it will bring to my foundation and our mission," said Hubbard.
As a nominee, Hubbard 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.
All 32 nominees will 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.
More information on Hubbard's nomination and community involvement this year can be found at Bengals.com/manoftheyear.