FIVE FINALISTS NAMED FOR 2023 NFLPA ALAN PAGE COMMUNITY AWARD
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association is proud to announce the five finalists for the 2023 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award: Damar Hamlin (Buffalo), Jonathan Jones (New England), Charles Leno Jr. (Washington), Darren Waller (Las Vegas) and Devin White (Tampa Bay). Each will receive a $10,000 donation from the NFLPA for his foundation or charity of choice.
This year’s winner will be announced at 3:00 p.m. ET on February 8 at the NFLPA’s annual Super Bowl press conference in Arizona. The honoree will receive an additional $100,000 donation, courtesy of the NFLPA, to his foundation or charity of choice.
The NFLPA Alan Page Community (APC) Award is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. The award annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his team city and/or hometown. As an award for the players and by the players, the winner will be determined next week through a league-wide electronic vote by their NFL peers.
"Congratulations to Damar, Jonathan, Charles, Darren and Devin. As servant leaders, your work has exemplified the spirit behind the award," said Alan Page, former NFLPA Executive Committee member, Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice. "By helping families in need, fighting homelessness and poverty, and by raising awareness for economic justice, you have changed the future, making it brighter and better than what it might have been."
Since suffering cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 game, Hamlin has inspired people all over the world through his miraculous recovery as well as his servant heart, which was on display well before this month. The Week 18 NFLPA Community MVP hosted his third annual Community Toy Drive in December, distributing gifts to hundreds of Pittsburgh children in need through his Chasing M’s Foundation. The non-profit started in 2020 as a GoFundMe page created by Hamlin, who was seeking $2,500 in support of his efforts to create impactful moments such as the toy drive, a back-to-school event, kids camp and more for families in his hometown of Pittsburgh. In the wake of Hamlin’s medical emergency, nearly nine million dollars in donations have poured into his foundation
Jones earned Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP honors for creating a Thanksgiving to remember for his college town of Auburn and his NFL team city. During the New England Patriot’s bye week in November and in partnership with Auburn Sustenance, the veteran defender held a tailgate at his alma mater that raised enough funds to feed 450 local families with meals and snacks on the days that Auburn City Schools are closed for the holidays. The Super Bowl champion also hosted a campus visit for a group of 10 football recruits, covering travel, lodging and meals for the prospects, who came from smaller schools and heard from Jones about his own journey. He then closed out the week back in Boston, where he provided a holiday dinner for 250 kids at the Blue Hills Boys & Girls Club, distributed turkeys and frozen meals to 100 more community members and served as QB1 for the club’s Turkey Classic Flag Football Game.
Leno secured NFLPA Community MVP honors for a third straight season after hosting his biggest Leno Claus holiday initiative yet. Through 25 consecutive days of giveback events by his Beyond the Entertainer Foundation during the month of December, the Washington Commanders offensive lineman provided more than $95,000 in donations and resources to families, schools, patients and charities in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, his former team city of Chicago and his hometown in California’s Bay Area.
Using his testimony of overcoming drug addiction, Waller connected with nearly 400 service men and women at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada en route to being named the Week 4 NFLPA Community MVP. The event served as the fourth installment of his “Wall Talk” outreach program, where he uses various outlets to share his personal experience with substance abuse as a young adult and how he overcame his addiction in hopes of helping others battling the same issue. This past September, the Las Vegas Raiders tight end also spent several hours meeting with two past recipients of his foundation’s Against The Wall grant as they continue recovery at the Naples Sober Living Apartment in Las Vegas. The following day, he packed and distributed clothes, towels, food and bags to residents of the tunnels under Las Vegas – most of whom were experiencing homelessness and battling addiction.
Following the unexpected death of his father in November, White decided to honor his legacy just two weeks later by distributing Thanksgiving meal items to families in need in Florida and his home state of Louisiana. On November 19, one day before his dad’s funeral, White and his mother provided more than $15,00 worth of turkeys during a drive-thru event in Cullen, Louisiana. A few days later after heading back to Tampa, the Week 13 NFLPA Community MVP and his Get Live with 45 Foundation, handed out 45 Thanksgiving meal kits and helped feed more 450 foster children and their families.
The nominees for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award were pulled from the NFLPA’s 2022 Community MVP campaign, where one player was honored each week during the regular season for his outreach efforts. Each of the 18 Community MVPs was awarded $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice and committed to making a virtual or in-person visit to a school or children’s hospital as a way to broaden their goodwill efforts.
In building off the program’s theme, our supporting partner Heartlent Group created 18 different special-editions magazine covers and spreads that highlighted the tremendous efforts by each of this season’s Community MVPs.
A panel of judges from across labor, media and service as well as the results of an electronic fan vote narrowed the pool of 18 NFLPA Community MVP candidates down to five finalists. The panel included Mike Jones (NFL columnist for USA Today), Kalina Newman (AFL-CIO external communications specialist) and Marc Pollick (president and founder of The Giving Back Fund).
In the lead-up to the announcement of the 2023 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award winner, Page will be re-presenting his renowned exhibit "TESTIFY: Americana From Slavery to Today" at the Minneapolis Central Library's Cargill Library. Featuring selections from his extraordinary collection of African-American art and artifacts, the exhibit will be on display from February 1 to March 29. In support of the exhibit, the NFLPA will take part in a film project where Page introduces several of the union's player members to unique items from his collection while sharing his personal experiences -- all of which will be documented by the Black Girls Film School.
Learn more about the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award.
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.