Each NFL team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year candidate has been announced, and Jason Cabinda is the Lions’ nominee this year.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year, of course named for the all-time great Chicago Bears’ running back, recognizes one NFL player each year for their work off the field and excellence on the field. Each team has a nominee, and the 2021 nominee for the Detroit Lions is fullback Jason Cabinda.
Cabinda acknowledged the honor in a statement.
"Walter Payton’s legacy embodies so many things. He was one of the greatest running backs on the field, and he truly looked out for people that didn’t have a voice and gave them a voice. I think within my character, I hope to embody Walter Payton in the sense of wanting to look out for others and wanting to be somebody who gives back and be somebody who remembers their roots and where they came from. When you’re in this position, you can have such an impact on these communities. You can have an impact knowing that the person that is standing in front of them is a person that has been in their shoes and has been sitting in their seats.”"
Jason Cabinda is deserving Walter Payton MOY nominee
Here’s a sampling of the work Cabinda does and has done in and outside the Detroit community.
-Ongoing work with a Detroit elementary school promoting literacy, including coordinating book drives and reading with the kids
-Providing Wal-Mart shopping sprees for needy families
-Coordinating and donating both time and money to assist first responders in the Surfside (FL) building collapse
-Spearheading the organization’s Detroit Lions Inspire Change initiatives and being a prominent voice for social justice among his teammates
Cabinda will wear a special helmet decal for the rest of the season. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner will be announced on the Thursday before the Super Bowl LVI at NFL Honors.
Via the Lions, here’s how fans can help Cabinda win the award and assist his off-field work.
"Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 7th 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 hashtag is used the most between Dec. 7 and Jan. 17 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."