HAYDEN HURST NAMED 2021 ALAN PAGE COMMUNITY AWARD WINNER
Atlanta Falcons tight end earns NFLPA’s highest honor for his outreach efforts
HAYDEN HURST NAMED 2021 ALAN PAGE COMMUNITY AWARD WINNER
TAMPA– The NFL Players Association announced Hayden Hurst as the recipient of the 2021 Alan Page Community Award at its annual Super Bowl press conference on Thursday. In recognition, the NFLPA will donate $100,000 to The Hayden Hurst Family Foundation.
“It is truly an honor to receive the 2021 Alan Page Community Award,” Hurst said. “I cannot begin to explain how much this means to me, my family, and to all the people that we will now be able to help through the use of these funds.”
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 honor is named.
This winter, in a video and article posted on the Atlanta Falcons website, Hurst opened up about his struggle with depression, the misuse of substances and his attempted suicide in 2016. In the weeks since, he has received a flood of support, generating more than $150,000 in donations to The Hayden Hurst Family Foundation, which raises awareness of mental health issues in children and adolescents by funding mental health services and programs.
During this week's NFLPA #AthleteAnd Players Summit, Hurst shared that, in the days following the release of the video, he received a message from a man who happened to see it and explained that Hurst’s story is what stopped him from taking his own life. This is just one of the many examples of how Hurst has directly impacted the hundreds of individuals who have reached out to his foundation.
In the time since Hurst was named this season's Week 13 NFLPA Community MVP, he has connected with more than 700 individuals, making a personal connection while pointing them toward resources and experts who can provide the help they needed. While this is not the first time that Hurst has shared his inspiring testimony, the courage shown in this instance helped empower those experiencing similar struggles that “it’s okay not to be okay,” which is why he continues to share his story to help make a difference in the lives of others.
The funding raised in the past two months allowed his foundation to support the mental health of nearly 270 teachers, 5,500 students and 8,185 parents through a program called In Focus, which implements social and emotional training programs into local K-8 schools in Atlanta, Maryland and South Carolina. The other funds will go toward providing assistance to two low-income schools in Florida.
“God works in mysterious ways and I believe my second chance was given to me so I could share my story and help save lives,” Hurst said.
Hurst was chosen as this year’s Alan Page Community Award winner from among five finalists following an electronic ballot vote that was open to all of his NFL peers from across the league. The finalists – Hurst, Geno Atkins (Cincinnati Bengals), Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans), Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Harrison Phillips (Buffalo Bills) -- were selected by an external committee of judges across labor, media, sport and charity from among the 18 Community MVPs awarded during the 2020 regular season.
For more information on the Alan Page Community Award, please visit NFLPA.com/community-mvp.
Previous Alan Page Community Award Winners*:
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 indicate which team player was on at the time he was awarded
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 2020 NFL season. Learn more at www.nflpa.com.