Five Finalists Announced for 2018 NFLPA Byron "Whizzer" White Community MVP Award
NFLPA’s highest honor is presented annually to the player who has a profound impact on his community
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association is proud to announce the five finalists for the 2018 NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White Community MVP: Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals), Colin Kaepernick, Chris Long (Philadelphia Eagles), Von Miller (Denver Broncos) and J.J. Watt (Houston Texans).
The award is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player, annually recognizing those who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns. A winner will be determined from among the finalists through a vote by their NFL peers.
The honoree is scheduled to be announced at 3:30 p.m. CST/4:30 p.m. EST on February 1 at the NFLPA’s annual Super Bowl press conference, where he will receive a $100,000 donation for his foundation or charity of choice.
The Community MVP campaign began during the NFL season, when 18 players were honored every week for their outreach efforts. Each weekly MVP* was awarded $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice along with an in-kind donation from Delta Private Jets.
A panel of judges from across labor, media, sport, service and charity narrowed the pool of 18 candidates down to five finalists, each of whom will receive an additional $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice. The panel included Charlie Batch (former NFL player and 2013 Whizzer White award winner), Mike Jones (NFL writer for USA Today), Kelly Love (VP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at Delta Private Jets) and Marc Pollick (president and founder of The Giving Back Fund).
Known as one of the league’s most active players in the community, Dalton and his wife provide financial assistance to the families of seriously ill and physically challenged children through the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation. The Bengals quarterback was honored as the Week 8 Community MVP for hosting “A Night in the Jungle.” The family-friendly fundraiser, which welcomed 500 guests to Paul Brown Stadium for on-field activities and dinner, generated $30,000 for his foundation.
Despite being a free agent, Kaepernick continued to use his platform for good by making a $1 million pledge to organizations working in underserved and oppressed communities. The dues-paying union member earned the Week 1 NFLPA Community MVP after making his ninth $100,000 charitable donation to four charities and hosting a back-to-school giveaway in New York.
Long displayed his commitment to positive change by donating his entire salary for the 2017 season to fund educational initiatives in hopes of enlightening youth about equality and social justice. The Eagles defender, who will participate in his second straight Super Bowl next week, was named the Week 2 NFLPA Community MVP for using six of his game checks to fund a new scholarship program at his high school alma mater in Charlottesville, Virginia.
As someone who has struggled with near-sightedness for his entire life, Miller is motivated to provide corrective eyewear to low-income youth in hopes that it will positively impact their lives in the same way that he experienced. The Week 17 NFLPA Community MVP donated 2,013 eyeglass frames to Denver kids in need through the Anchor Center for Blind Children and his Von’s Vision Foundation.
When Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey in August, Watt came to the aid of his team city by launching a campaign via social media that ultimately generated more than $37 million in disaster relief assistance. Following the two-week fundraiser, the Week 0 NFLPA Community MVP formed a supply drop at four locations across the country, resulting in 12 semi trucks filled with supplies being delivered and distributed to the victims in Houston.
For more information on the NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White Award Community MVP, please visit https://www.nflpa.com/community-mvp.
*To be eligible for the Community MVP award, a player must be a dues-paying member of the NFLPA and either on a current NFL roster or actively seeking employment as a free agent.
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 2020. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.