Antoine Bethea named Cardinals’ Walter Payton award nominee
Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea has been nominated as one of the NFL’s 32 candidates for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award this season.
The honor is given to the player who does outstanding community service work alongside their play on the field.
It’s Bethea’s second nomination; his first came when he was the Indianapolis Colts’ candidate in 2013.
This year, the safety will receive a $50,000 donation to the charity of his choice and another $50,000 in his name to expand the United Way Character Playbook program in Arizona.
Bethea has spent every year since 2010 hosting college students from his hometown, Newport News, Va., as they meet with university and college faculty members to discuss higher education.
He started the Safe Coverage Technology Program, which provides laptops and iPads to high schoolers attending certification programs. Bethea’s 757 Shutdown Academy, a youth sports program in his hometown, supports 220 football players and cheerleading squads.
This year with the Cardinals, he joined players and owner Michael Bidwill, who met with Gov. Doug Ducey to discuss criminal justice reform. Bethea also visits Valley elementary schools to promote literacy.
Additionally, 100 percent of Bethea’s AB41 merchancise proceeds benefit the fight against breast cancer.
Bethea and the 31 other nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award will wear a helmet decal to recognize them.
The full list of the 32 nominees are below:
Arizona Cardinals S Antoine Bethea
Atlanta Falcons DT Grady Jarrett
Baltimore Ravens CB Brandon Carr
Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander
Carolina Panthers DE Julius Peppers
Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton
Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap
Cleveland Browns LB Christian Kirksey
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Denver Broncos LB Von Miller
Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford
Green Bay Packers NT Kenny Clark
Houston Texans LB Whitney Mercilus
Indianapolis Colts DE Jabaal Sheard
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles
Kansas City Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt
Los Angeles Chargers DT Corey Liuget
Los Angeles Rams OT Andrew Whitworth
Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills
Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph
New England Patriots S Devin McCourty
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram
New York Giants S Michael Thomas
New York Jets OT Kelvin Beachum
Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch
Philadelphia Eagles DE Chris Long
Pittsburgh Steelers DE Cameron Heyward
San Francisco 49ers K Robbie Gould
Seattle Seahawks LB K.J. Wright
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy
Tennessee Titans DT Jurrell Casey
Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis