Damar Hamlin Named 2023 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award Winner
PHOENIX – The NFL Players Association announced Damar Hamlin as the recipient of the 2023 Alan Page Community Award at its annual Super Bowl press conference on Wednesday. In recognition, the NFLPA will donate $100,000 to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s Foundation.
“Being recognized for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award is humbling and a dream come true,” Hamlin said. “I’m humbled to even be mentioned amongst those guys. I’ve always wanted to impact my community and show that it’s possible to do great things. With this award, we’ll be able to impact even more people and keep this mission going.”
Receiving this honor marks the latest chapter in Hamlin’s inspiring, miraculous journey on and off the football field. While most know the name “Damar Hamlin” in connection to the in-game cardiac arrest that he suffered on January 2, the Buffalo Bills safety has long served as a pillar of servant leadership and philanthropy, dating back to his days as NFL prospect.
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on in 2020 and Hamlin trained in hopes of hearing his name called in the following year’s NFL Draft, the then-University of Pittsburgh standout player launched the Chasing M’s Foundation through a GoFundMe page. His goal was to raise $2,500 for camps, toy drives, back-to-school events and other initiatives that would create a positive, lasting impact on the Pennsylvania community that helped raise him. The “M” stood for the “millions” of people, scholarships and other avenues by which he hoped to make a difference.
Ten days after the page went up, Hamlin put together his first event – a holiday toy drive that saw donated gifts and clothing distributed to underserved kids in the Pittsburgh area. Even with limited resources and even as his football career took him to Buffalo after being drafted by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Hamlin’s commitment to his initial cause has never wavered.
This past December, Hamlin hosted his third annual Community Toy Drive in Pittsburgh, marking his biggest event yet as there were plenty of gifts, activities and smiles to go around for the kids and families in attendance.
Because of Hamlin’s long-standing commitment to giving back, the pieces were already in place for his foundation to accept the groundswell of support and more than nine million dollars in donations that poured into his foundation following his Jan. 2 cardiac arrest. For this, Hamlin was selected as this season’s Week 18 NFLPA Community MVP, making him eligible for the prestigious award he received on Wednesday.
As the NFLPA’s highest honor, the Alan Page Community Award annually recognizes one player who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and communities across the country, following in the spirit of the Pro Football Hall of Famer and social pioneer for whom the award is named. As an award for the players and by the players, each year’s winner is selected by their NFL peers, who cast their vote for one of the award’s five finalists via electronic ballot.
Since 2014, the NFLPA Community MVP program has honored one player each week during the regular season for his outreach efforts. Each of the 18 NFLPA Community MVPs is awarded $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice and commits to making a virtual or in-person visit to a school or children’s hospital as a way to encourage their youngest fans. The winners also become eligible for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award, whose five finalists are determined by an external committee of judges across labor, media and charity as well as a digital fan vote.
This year, in building off the program’s theme, our supporting partner HEARTLENT Group created a limited-edition magazine cover illustration of each Community MVP that highlighted their charitable outreach.
For more information about the Alan Page Community Award, the Community MVP program and its supporting partners (HEARTLENT Group and Wheels Up), please visit nflpa.com/community-mvp.
Previous NFLPA Alan Page Community Award Winners*:
2022 Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia Eagles
2021 Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons
2020 Brandon Copeland, New York Jets
2019 Andrew Whitworth, Los Angeles Rams
2018 Chris Long, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers
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
*Team listed indicates which team player was on at the time he was awarded
**The award was re-established as the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award in 2018
About the NFL Players Association:
The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests. The NFLPA has shown that it will do whatever is necessary to assure that the rights of players are protected—including ceasing to be a union, if necessary, as it did in 1989. In 1993, the NFLPA again was officially recognized as the union representing the players and negotiated a landmark Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL. The current CBA will govern the sport through the 2030 NFL season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.