GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay Packers have selected their center Corey Linsley as the team nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field and is among the NFL’s most prestigious awards.
Each of the league’s 32 nominees have been announced and will receive a donation of $40,000 in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
Other nominees this year include former Packer and current Chicago Bear tight end Jimmy Graham as well as former Wisconsin Badger and current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Packers nominee Linsley, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, has worked with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Brown County since coming to Green Bay in 2014. CASA is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children who are under the legal protection of the court system through no fault of their own.
Linsley and his wife, Anna, serve as CASA advocates, visiting children to whom they are assigned regularly and submitting monthly reports to the judge on the children’s safety and wellbeing.
The Linsley family have also helped direct donations to CASA from the Packers and the NFL social justice initiative, totaling $100,000 in the last two years, and they have served as state spokespeople for Wisconsin CASA, attending special events and appearing in PSAs and advertisements.
Linsley has also demonstrated his commitment to the community by raising funds for the family of his ‘bike kid,’ Travis Kohlbeck, when the Kohlbeck family faced various health challenges. Linsley spends time giving back in a variety of other ways, including helping to host a Play 60 event for students with special needs at Sybly Hopp School in De Pere and taking part in numerous Packers Give Back programs and events.
He has also been a major participant in the Packers Give Back Celebrity Bowling Event that has helped raise money for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and CASA, and he often lends a hand to help teammates with their fundraisers.
The last Packer player to receive the Man of the Year award was former defensive tackle Jim Flanigan in 2000. He split the award with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks. Before that, former Packers quarterback Bart Starr was the first player in the NFL to receive the award in 1969. At that time, the award was known as the Gladiator Award.
As a nominee, Linsley 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.
Each Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee will also take part in the Charity Challenge, a social media challenge that encourages fans to post on Twitter using a unique hashtag for each player.
The player hashtag that generates the most mentions between Dec. 10 and Jan. 17 will win an additional $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000, and the third-place winner receiving $5,000.
Packer fans are invited to support Linsley by tweeting with the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge + Linsley to help him earn the donation.
More information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award can be found at http://www.nfl.com/manoftheyear.
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