Devin McCourty is an All-Pro on the field and off it.
The New England Patriots announced Thursday in a statement the defensive back is the team’s nominee for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes the outside-of-football contributions players make to their respective communities.
McCourty earned the nomination for his holiday initiatives, juvenile criminal justice reform efforts, and support for families whose loved ones suffer from sickle-cell disease and helping raise money to research for a cure.
According to McCourty, his mother inspires his commitment to community service.
“I give back because my mom instilled it in me,” McCourty said. “She showed me the way by having a good heart and giving back to people. She was a nurse and growing up I knew in life that I wanted to do something to give back to people. It’s so much more gratifying when you can give to others and see the effect you have on them. Anyone can take a gift, but to take the time out and do something special for someone, it’s a great honor.”
The NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide will donate $50,000 in McCourty’s name to expand the league’s Character Playbook and another $50,000 to the charity of his choice. Those amounts will increase to $250,000 apiece if McCourty wins the award.
“We are very excited to nominate Devin McCourty for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “He has been a special part of our organization for nine seasons, not only for what he’s been able to do on the field, but for the way he’s been able to positively impact those in our communities. Devin is a natural leader and his genuine commitment to helping others is inspiring.”
The 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced Feb. 2 in Atlanta, Ga., during the “NFL Honors” show.