Brad Jones was the Green Bay Packers’ nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The team announced the news on Wednesday. The NFL announced its list of three finalists on Jan. 19: Carolina’s Thomas Davis, Arizona’s Jay Feely and Chicago’s Charles Tillman.
The award is the greatest distinction an NFL player can achieve for community service.
Each player nominated for the award (one player from each team) may choose a nonprofit to receive a $1,000 donation in his name. Jones, a seventh-round pick in 2009, has selected the East Lansing, Mich., chapter of Gateway Community Services (Kevin J. Moody Home) to receive the contribution.
Gateway Community Services is a private nonprofit organization that has been serving runaway, homeless and struggling youth and their families in Michigan’s Ingram, Eaton and Clinton counties since 1970. Jones grew up in East Lansing, where the Kevin J. Moody Home is located. The Kevin J. Moody Home serves as a shelter to youth ages 12 to 21, and provides a place for struggling teens to receive essential services through the organization’s self-sufficiency programs.
Jones has given his time to help the Brown County Human Services Department Pals Program, Families of Children with Cancer, the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley and the Sister Bay Lions Club.
He was involved with the WPS Health Insurance Pro vs. G.I. Joe program, in which NFL players play Call of Duty against United States soldiers overseas; the Campbell’s Chunky Soup Click for Cans competition, which donated food to Wisconsin food pantries; the Mike and Jessica McCarthy Golf Invitational, which donates proceeds to the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison; Packers’ Draft Day parties; and the Green Bay Packers Golf Invitational.
In 2013, Jones received the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award.
Established in 1970, the award was renamed in 1999 after the late Chicago Bears’ running back Walter Payton, who represented the very best of the NFL as an athlete on the field and as a role-model off the field.
The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive the Gladiator statue, an original art creation by noted sculptor Daniel Schwartz. In addition, the player’s favorite charity will receive an additional $20,000 donation in his name.
No Packers player has won the award, though there is a Packers link. Steve Wright, a fifth-round pick in 1964, played for nine seasons, the first four of which were in Green Bay as a backup offensive tackle. Wright was the model for the trophy, which was created in 1969.