2016 Byron "Whizzer" White Award Finalists Announced
For Immediate Release
February 1, 2016
2016 BYRON “WHIZZER” WHITE AWARD FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
WASHINGTON – The NFL Players Association annually recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns.
The Byron “Whizzer” White Award is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player, and this year’s finalists are: Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers), Rashad Jennings (New York Giants), Stephen Tulloch (Detroit Lions), Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) and Benjamin Watson (New Orleans Saints).
The winner, who will receive $100,000 for his foundation or a charity of his choice, will be announced on February 4, 3:30 p.m. PST, at the NFLPA’s annual Super Bowl press conference.
The finalists’ applications will be reviewed and voted on by a panel of judges across labor, media, sport, service and charity: Cornelius Bennett (former NFL player, NFLPA Executive Committee); Alex Marvez (Senior NFL Writer / Host, FOX Sports / SiriusXM NFL); Marc Pollick (President and Founder, The Giving Back Fund); Tim Waters (National Political Director, United Steelworkers); and the Delta Private Jets, Inc. Committee.
The award was established by the professional football players of America to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to one of their own, Supreme Court Justice Byron Raymond “Whizzer” White—scholar, athlete, patriot, humanitarian and public servant. The NFLPA presents this prestigious annual award to the player that is just as dedicated off the field as he is on it.
Each team’s locker room was given the opportunity to nominate players during the regular season, and each submission was given up to $5,000 for the player’s foundation or charity of his choice. The judges, Charlie Batch, Domonique Foxworth and Kevin Mawae, narrowed the pool of applicants down to five finalists.
Davis, the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, established the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation in 2008. The organization hosts a youth leadership academy, free youth football camp, as well as back-to-school and holiday giveaways. The linebacker’s foundation focuses on benefiting underprivileged youth in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Jennings seeks to help youth overcome educational and health challenges that impacted him as a child. The Rashad Jennings Foundation’s mission is to make school fun by providing tools and mentorship for individual success while promoting health and fitness. The running back hosts annual football camps, family festivals reading challenges, holiday drives, and after-school character development programs.
Tulloch is focused on improving education in Detroit, and the Stephen Tulloch Foundation is making a positive impact on students across the region. The organization has adopted 55 area schools, supplying them with computer labs and other necessary supplies, with Tulloch making a personal appearance at each. The linebacker also hosts events for cancer survivors and provides free dental work for teens.
Walker launched his non-profit to provide inner-city and low-income children with educational opportunities and resources. The Delanie Walker Gives Back Foundation hosts back-to-school and college prep initiatives as well as football camps and giveaways. The tight end’s organization also installs reading rooms and “imagination stations” in Nashville area schools.
Watson, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, is a finalist for the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. His Watson One More Foundation hosts events for families in need, including holiday gift giveaways, tailgate-themed parties for local homeless individuals and a youth football camp. The tight end also supports of a variety of faith-based transitional and enrichment programs.
For more information on the Byron “Whizzer” White Award, visit NFLPA.com and follow #NFLPAWhizzerAward and the NFLPA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.
Previous Byron R. “Whizzer” White Award Winners
- 2015 Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings
- 2014 Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
- 2013 Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 2012 Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
- 2011 Tony Richardson, New York Jets
- 2010 Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
- 2009 Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles
- 2008 Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Atlanta Falcons
- 2007 John Lynch, Denver Broncos
- 2006 Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
- 2005 Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
- 2004 Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2003 Troy Vincent, Philadelphia Eagles
- 2002 Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars
- 2001 Michael McCrary, Baltimore Ravens
- 2000 Doug Pelfrey, Cincinnati Bengals
- 1999 Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings
- 1998 Hardy Nickerson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 1997 Chris Zorich, Chicago Bears
- 1996 Bill Brooks, Buffalo Bills
- 1995 Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
- 1994 Mark Kelso, Buffalo Bills
- 1993 Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs
- 1992 Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
- 1991 Mike Kenn, Atlanta Falcons
- 1990 Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns
- 1989 Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
- 1988 Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
- 1987 George Martin, New York Giants
- 1986 Nat Moore, Miami Dolphins
- 1985 Reggie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
- 1984 Rolf Benirschke, San Diego Chargers
- 1983 Doug Dieken, Cleveland Browns
- 1982 Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1981 Ken Houston, Washington Redskins
- 1980 Gene Upshaw, Los Angeles Raiders
- 1979 Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys
- 1978 Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints
- 1977 Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
- 1976 Jim Hart, St. Louis Cardinals
- 1975 Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1974 Floyd Little, Denver Broncos
- 1973 Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 1972 Ray May, Baltimore Colts
- 1971 Kermit Alexander, Los Angeles Rams
- 1970 Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
- 1969 Ed Meador, Los Angeles Rams
- 1968 Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers
- 1967 Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
*teams listed throughout indicate team which nominated the player.