ASHBURN, VA -- The Washington Redskins has announced linebacker Lorenzo Alexander as the team's 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. This is Alexander's second consecutive selection for the team's award.
The Man of the Year honor is the only league award that recognizes players' off-the-field community service as well as playing excellence. This year's finalists — one player from each NFL team — have demonstrated an outstanding balance between civic and professional responsibilities in their lives this season.
Alexander, the Redskins' Special Teams Captain, is nominated for the league-wide award to be selected from 32 NFL players. As the Redskins' winner of the award, Alexander will receive a $1,000 donation for his A.C.E.S. (Accountability, Community, Education, Sports) Foundation.
"Without the first three, you're not going to be successful," Alexander said of accountability, community and education. "That means making the right decisions...being a good person, serving your community and helping others."
Since starting A.C.E.S. in 2008, Alexander has donated more than $62,000 to help support his philanthropic work both in Oakland, Calif. and in the Washington, D.C. region. Through his foundation, Alexander tutors young people and runs college prep and life skills workshops, hosts youth football clinics and speaks to nonprofit groups. To help kids focus on education, he provides school supplies to hundreds of youth that cannot afford to purchase the necessary tools for school. In November 2011, his foundation launched "Real Talk Education Workshop" at his former middle school to help them understand the importance of education.
Alexander has participated in more than 52 team-related community events since joining the Redskins organization. He participates in reading events, speaks to high school athletes about character, work ethic, and the danger of steroids and performance enhancing drugs, encourages youth to get physically active through PLAY 60 initiatives, distributes toys, coats, and food to underserved communities. He also speaks on Capitol Hill and walks to raise awareness for chronic kidney disease, talks to wounded warriors at Walter Reed, and sits by the bedside of kids battling terminal illnesses at children's hospitals.
Three finalists for the league-wide award will receive an additional $5,000 and be invited to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, with the winner announced at the NFL Honors show the night before the Super Bowl. The overall winner will receive a $25,000 donation to the 501(c)3 organization of his choice.
The prestigious award was renamed in 1999 for the legendary Chicago Bears Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award has been given annually since 1970.
Past Redskins nominees of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year include: Lorenzo Alexander, 2010, London Fletcher, 2009 (selected as an overall finalist) & 2008; Rocky McIntosh, 2007; Renaldo Wynn, 2006; Shawn Springs, 2005; Chris Cooley, 2004; Darnerian McCants, 2003; Eddie Mason, 2002; Chris Samuels, 2001; Darrell Green, 1996 (won the national award); and Joe Theismann, 1982 (won the national award).