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Antoine Bethea named Cardinals’ Walter Payton award nominee

Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea (41) moves to tackle Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

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


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