As voting concludes for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year this coming weekend, 2016 awardee and Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be in New Haven, CT, accepting an award named after another Walter. On January 12, the Minneapolis native will receive the Walter Camp Alumni Award for his continued good works on and off the field.
A recipient of the 2003 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award while a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, the Walter Camp Football Foundation will once again honor Fitzgerald at its 52nd national awards banquet for his ongoing sportsmanship and athletic excellence as well as his demonstrated commitment to his community and compassion for others. Also a 2017 nominee for ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year, Fitzgerald’s history of charitable endeavors is vast.
In 2005, Fitzgerald established The Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund, which focuses on youth literacy and access to technology as well as various breast cancer initiatives, with Fitzgerald having lost his mother to the disease in 2003. From helping to fund playgrounds, chess tournaments and vision care for children to providing grants for breast cancer research and free mammograms, Fitzgerald’s foundation runs the gamut of charitable giving.
Whether he’s providing 1,000 new helmets for Minneapolis Parks and Recreation youth football program or hearing aids for children in Africa, Fitzgerald is constantly giving back, many times with little to no fanfare. Also an avid world traveler who has visited over 93 countries, Fitzgerald is passionate about promoting respect and appreciation for other cultures, even co-founding a travel agency in 2016 called Nomad Hill to provide immersive vacations geared towards millennials that often incorporate a philanthropic element.
As demonstrated by his moving speech at late Senator John McCain’s memorial service last August, Fitzgerald is a highly regarded leader not only in the sports world and the Arizona community where he has played for 15 seasons, but across industries and geographic borders. With Fitzgerald set to receive the Walter Camp Alumni Award 15 years after his initial award from the foundation, the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year deservedly continues to earn recognition for his countless contributions off the field.
Fans can vote for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year until January 13 by posting on Twitter using hashtag #WPMOYChallenge and the player’s name. Learn more about the 2018 nominees HERE. This year’s winner will be announced on February 2 on the eve of Super Bowl LIII.