On the field, Patrick Mahomes is known for his keen and often other-worldly athletic abilities as a quarterback to not only his teammates, but to all 31 other teams that know what's coming whenever they face the Chiefs. Off the field, however, Mahomes is a father, a husband, a leader, and an idol to many around the nation. Mahomes is the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee for the Kansas City Chiefs, and for good reason, too.
Mahomes, whose foundation – 15 and the Mahomies – is dedicated to improving the lives of children, has raised more than $2.75 million for over 100 organizations since 2019. Those funds have benefitted causes such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Black College Football Hall of Fame, to name a few.
The 2018 NFL MVP has used his immense platform to reach charities throughout not just the Kansas City metro, but across the entire nation – including Lubbock, Texas and his hometown of Whitehouse, Texas.
Considered the league's most prestigious honor, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award annually recognizes a single player for their philanthropy and community impact. Each team submits a nominee, placing 32 men in the running to receive a $250,000 donation to their charity of choice. The honor is intended to acknowledge the player's outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as his excellence on the field.
In addition to the award itself, which will be presented during the NFL Honors ceremony during Super Bowl weekend, Mahomes is also in the running for the annual "Charity Challenge," which is essentially a social media competition meant to create awareness for the nominees.
The winner of the Charity Challenge – which awards $25,000 to a charity of that player's choice – will be the nominee who receives the most unique mentions alongside the challenge hashtag on Twitter between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8. In order to vote, simply use the following on Twitter: #WPMOYChallenge + @PatrickMahomes.
Mahomes leads the competition as of Dec. 20, but fans are encouraged to keep voting in order to maintain his advantage.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award was initially introduced in 1969 to award and recognize the outstanding men in the National Football League who serve their communities beyond the field of play. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton.
"I'm incredibly grateful to be recognized as the Chiefs' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year," Mahomes said. "I know how special this honor is and the history behind it here in Kansas City."
Mahomes was referring to the Chiefs' five previous winners, which marks the most of any franchise. Willie Lanier (1972), Len Dawson (1973), Derrick Thomas (1993), Will Shields (2003) and Brian Waters (2009) each won the award as members of the Chiefs. Mahomes is looking to become the sixth.
"Since joining the Chiefs in 2017, Patrick has continued to display an unwavering commitment to helping those in need," said Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt. "The work he does through the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation has impacted many in our community, and there really is no limit to what he can and will continue to do for Chiefs Kingdom and beyond."
Walter Payton was a running back for the Chicago Bears for 13 seasons, and in addition to his outstanding playing career, he was widely known for his charitable efforts. Following his retirement, Payton dedicated his life to helping others before his passing in 1999. His namesake is meant to inspire the league's best players to use their position for positive change, and it's something Mahomes has clearly taken to heart.
"He does a great job leading here, but he also takes that into the community," said Head Coach Andy Reid. "He's done that since he's been here. He's big on kids and their needs, and people in general. He has a big heart that way – for people. So, I think that's a tribute to him and his family and the efforts that he puts forward. You're tired during the season, but yet he gets out there and gives back, and that's an important quality to have."
It goes without saying that Mahomes is not only a leader on the Chiefs, but in the NFL as a whole and on the national stage. He continually gives everything he has both on and off the field, and it's for all of those reasons that he is the Chiefs' nominee for the league's greatest honor.
To learn more about the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, click here.