Running back Kyle Long has been selected as the Bears' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
This prestigious NFL award is the only league award that recognizes a player's off-the-field community service, support and activities as well as his playing excellence. It has been in existence since 1970 and honors NFL players who demonstrate outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities.
|Running back Matt Forte has been selected as the Bears' nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.|
In 1999, the league renamed the NFL "Man of the Year" award after Walter Payton as a tribute to his greatness both on and off the field. Payton passed away on Nov. 1, 1999 at the age of 45 due to bile duct cancer.
All 32 nominees, one from each NFL team, will receive a $5,000 contribution toward charities of their choice, and the winner will receive $50,000 for his selected charity. The winner will be announced during the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show, a two-hour primetime special airing nationally on Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50 on CBS.
In his eighth season, Forte ranks second in Bears history behind Payton in rushing yards, 100-yard rushing games, receptions, receiving yards by a running back, yards from scrimmage, scrimmage yards per game and games with 150 or more yards from scrimmage.
Off the field, Forte founded The Matt Forte "What's Your Forte?" Foundation in 2013 to empower at-risk Chicago-area youth striving to achieve their dreams of higher education by providing mentoring, counseling, tutoring and academic scholarships.
This past summer, the Bears running back hosted his third annual Matt Forte Football ProCamp. He has also hosted various mentoring dinners and camps in prior years, both in Chicago and his hometown, Slidell, La.
In preparation for the 2015-16 school year, Forte's Foundation hosted its inaugural "Back to School 'Kicks' and Backpack Giveaway," providing more than 200 kids with backpacks, school supplies, tennis shoes and other clothing items.
In September, Forte partnered with Kids Foot Locker and the Boys & Girls Club of America to kick off the third edition of the Kids Foot Locker Foundation Fitness Challenge. Ten Boys & Girls Clubs in Greater Chicago were selected to compete. At the conclusion of the program, the club with the highest percent increase in daily participation will be awarded a $10,000 check from the KFL Foundation.
Forte also has supported numerous Chicago Bears programs, including annually attending the Bears Care Gala and purchasing a block of tickets for each Bears home game through the Hometown Huddle program.
As both a rookie and veteran, Forte was voted by his teammates as a Brian Piccolo Award winner, exemplifying the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo, a former Bears running back.