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Forte a finalist for Art Rooney award

Bears running back Kyle Long has been chosen as one of eight finalists for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.


Matt Forte has been chosen as one of eight finalists for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

The award was created last season in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr. It is presented to the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents and integrity in competition.

The other seven finalists are Ravens running back Justin Forsett, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Titans cornerback Jason McCourty, 49ers tackle Joe Staley and Raiders safety Charles Woodson.

The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected eight finalists from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award when players vote Dec. 18. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

In 2014, the players chose Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald as the inaugural winner of the Art Rooney Award.

The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised "5th Annual NFL Honors" show on Saturday, Feb. 6 on CBS, the night before Super Bowl 50.

The winner will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He also will receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.

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