CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers announced Wednesday, the nomination of Tight End Greg Olsen for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Each of the 32 NFL teams nominates a player, for the only NFL award that recognizes a player for his community service activities as well as his excellence on the field. This is the second time Olsen has been nominated following his 2015 nomination.
Olsen is heavily involved in the community through Receptions for Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation, which includes the programs Receiving Hope and The HEARTest Yard.
The Receiving Hope program focuses on cancer research, support, and education programming, and was founded in 2009 in honor of his mother, who is a breast cancer survivor.
The HEARTest Yard was established after an examination of their unborn son, T.J., revealed he had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a congenital defect characterized by an underdeveloped left ventricle and aorta. The fund provides services to families of babies with congenital heart disease, at no cost to the hospital or the families.
Coach Ron Rivera, a former teammate of Walter Payton said, “Greg’s service is completely driven by love,” he continued, “Love for his family, for his community, and all those around him. He is fully committed to all that he does – both on and off the field. He is a leader in the locker room, devoted husband and father, and selfless servant to the community.”
Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists, and the winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. on Fox.