Posted Dec 21, 2010

The Kansas City Chiefs have announced that RB Thomas Jones is the team’s nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. Jones is joined by candidates from each NFL team in consideration for this illustrious accolade. The winner will be announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during Super Bowl XLV pregame ceremonies on Sunday, February 6th in Arlington, Texas.


The son of a long line of coalminers, Jones currently leads the charge for the annual “Stay Out-Stay Alive” public safety campaign. Educating youth on the perils of playing in abandoned mines and shafts, it serves as a vital instructive program for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. Jones also participated in the “The Soul of Coal” fundraiser. This event honored two African-American miners that lost their lives in the April 5, 2010 Upper Big Branch explosion. Additionally, he established the Thomas Quinn Jones First Academic Scholarship Fund, where he’s supporting 29 students presently enrolled at his alma mater, Virginia, and is involved with HELP USA’s efforts to assist the homeless.

“I am truly touched,” Jones said upon being informed of the news. “While I play the game of football for a living, it doesn’t define who I am as a person. It is the work I do in the community that’s a real passion of mine. I’m not one to seek the spotlight or do things in order to receive recognition. That’s what makes this news so humbling to me.”

In the short time Jones has called Kansas City home, he’s quickly adopted his new community as well. Whether he is visiting soldiers at Whiteman AFB, kicking off the NFL Hometown Huddle at the Boys & Girls Clubs, spending Thanksgiving flipping the switch on the Country Club Plaza Lights, purchasing holiday turkeys for local families in need, or recognizing the metro’s top high school football performers, Jones is always happy to lend his time and encourages his teammates to do the same.

On the field, Jones is immensely respected by his Chiefs teammates for his workman-like attitude and consummate effort. Those attributes have served this 11-year NFL veteran well. Currently, he is one of just two running backs to register five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. In last week’s contest at St. Louis, Jones became just the 25th player in NFL history to eclipse 10,000 career rushing yards. Earlier this year, he set an NFL record by becoming the first player to register at least 500 yards rushing with five separate franchises. Additionally, this Pro Bowler has served as a role model to many of the team’s younger players, including backfield mate Jamaal Charles.

The prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award is unique among NFL honors. It is the only NFL acknowledgment that recognizes a player for his community service activities as well as his excellence on the field. The Award has been given annually since 1970. In all, five Chiefs players have garnered this accolade, more than any other NFL franchise. Members of the Red and Gold who have taken home the Gladiator Statue, which is given to the winner, include such franchise stalwarts as LB Willie Lanier (1972), QB Len Dawson (1973), LB Derrick Thomas (1993), G Will Shields (2003) and the reigning NFL Man of the Year, G Brian Waters (2009).


^ TOP ^