The New England Patriots already have one player up for a prestigious end-of-season award.
And veteran defensive tackle Lawrence Guy earned the nomination not solely for what he’s done on the field, but for his continued impact off of it, too.
The Patriots announced Tuesday that Guy is the organization’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which is handed out annually to a player that engages in exceptional community service and excels on the gridiron. Every NFL team nominates one player for the award with the winner being revealed on Feb. 9.
It was a significant recognition for the 32-year-old Guy, who has worked tirelessly since joining the Patriots in 2017 to make a difference in the community.
“It means a lot,” Guy told reporters, per team-provided video. “We like to go into the community. Me and my wife love to get involved in the community and put roots in those grounds and help out families that are in need. But the biggest thing is to inspire people for a change and inspire people to help everybody else out in the future. Being (nominated) for this award is heartwarming and a true blessing that everything I do is being noticed and acknowledged.”
Guy was personally inspired to give back through the efforts of his father, who served as a firefighter for 25 years. Guy likes to tell the story, and shared it again Tuesday, of his dad giving food and toys to a family that lost everything in a fire on Christmas Eve.
With lending a helping hand engrained in Guy, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound defensive lineman has aided others in a big way through the Lawrence Guy Family Foundation he established with his wife, Andrea.
They hold four major events a year, including giving 150 high school students the necessities to perform in the classroom along with hosting “Thanksgiving with the Guys” — which he has done for four straight years — that provides 200 local families with meals for the holiday and putting on a holiday shopping spree for underprivileged children. But Guy said his favorite event to put together is baby showers for single mothers, where the foundation provides more than $80,000 worth of essentials to those who are expecting or recently had a baby.
“It’s understanding that we might not know what somebody is going through next to us, right?” Guy said as he also is heavily involved with the New England Patriots Foundation. “So, the local person on the street, the person that works at the mall, the person that works valet or the man that’s working next to you in your locker room, you don’t know what they’re going through.
“So, being able to help somebody out, to uplift them, that pretty much does it all for me. And that builds why we continue to do this in the community because it’s not about what happens now, it’s about what happens next time in the next couple years that it continues to go.”
The work Guy has done in the community also received praise from coach Bill Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who with Guy, won a Super Bowl title with New England in the 2018 season, and proved himself as an integral part of the organization even when he steps off the field.
“Since he arrived in New England five years ago, no player has dedicated more time or more personal resources to positively impact the lives of others in our New England communities,” Kraft said in a statement. “Lawrence and his wife Andrea have made it a personal priority to do more every year that they have been here and continue to exceed all expectations in terms of their generosity. He leads by example and is a great ambassador for the Patriots, both on and off the field.”