PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Eagles have named safety Rodney McLeod as their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award is considered the league’s most prestigious honor and recognizes the NFL player for outstanding community service activities on and off the field.
The Eagles say the nomination did not come as surprise to anyone in the organization — except to McLeod. The Eagles posted the video of them informing McLeod of the nomination on Twitter.
“Oh wow, I appreciate it. I don’t even know what to say, but it’s an honor man, thank you. Put a smile on my face and it’s a blessing,” McLeod said.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 10, 2020
McLeod and his wife, Erika, have played key roles in the Philadelphia and surrounding communities since he joined the Eagles in 2016. The pair founded the Change Our Future Foundation which is designed to empower power through education, advocacy and awareness in the areas of youth development, healthy lifestyles and community enrichment.
He was named the NFL Players Associations’ Community MVP in Week 2 of this season after distributing 40,000 pounds of fresh food to families through Philadelphia’s Share Food Program. His foundation has done this each month during the 2020 season and they have also been providing polling information and voter registration opportunities.
“I’m incredibly honored to be named the Eagles’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year,” said McLeod. “Growing up, I had a lot of people sacrifice to help me get to where I am today. The fact that I have this platform to give back, alongside my family, teammates and the City of Philadelphia, is truly humbling. Impacting the lives of others is one of the highest honors we can all strive to achieve, and I’m blessed to be recognized next to an inspiring group of peers who are making a difference in their communities.”
McLeod is also committed to playing a role in the fight against social injustices.
Some of the nonprofits he has volunteered his time at include MANNA, Ronald McDonald House, Rock to the Future, Laurel House, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Eagles Autism Foundation.
He has also be a part of NFL initiatives such as Character Playbook and NFL Play 60, the Eagles Play 60 Field Day and Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
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