Outside linebacker Khalil Mack has been selected as the Bears nominee for the seventh annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes NFL players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. Each NFL team nominated one player for the honor.
The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr.
Mack is in his third season with the Bears. He has recorded 27.5 sacks in 41 games since being acquired in 2018 in a blockbuster trade with the Raiders. Mack has been selected to the Pro Bowl each of the last five seasons and was voted All-Pro in 2018 when he registered a team-leading 12.5 sacks to help the Bears win the NFC North title with a 12-4 record.
A panel of former players comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler will select eight finalists from the 32 nominees for the honor. The eight finalists will then be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote Friday, Dec. 18. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award include Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2014), Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson (2015), Colts running back Frank Gore (2016), Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (2017), Saints quarterback Drew Brees (2018) and Washington running back Adrian Peterson (2019).
The winner will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl LV. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.