The NFL has announced Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle CLINTON MCDONALD among the 32 players who have been named their team's Man of the Year. Representing the best of the NFL's commitment to philanthropy and community impact, these players are now eligible to win the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field. The award, which was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back is among the league's most prestigious honors. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community to be considered for the national award.
As one of the 32 team nominees, McDonald will receive a$50,000 donation to his MACCLID Foundation and an additional $50,000 donation to expand the Character Playbook initiative in the Tampa Bay market. Character Playbook, launched in April at the NFL Draft, is a national education initiative focused on youth character development and healthy relationships. This interactive digital program uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years with a focus on positive character development and social-emotional learning. Donations will be courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Suncoast.
Clubs will celebrate their nominees through special in-stadium features during their designated Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year *home game in Weeks 14-15. Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists, to be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at *NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.
This year, $500,000 will be donated in the name of the 2017 winner, with $250,000 donated to the winner's charity of choice and $250,000 donated in his name to expand Character Playbook across the country. The two other finalists will each receive a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice and a $100,000 donation in their names to expand Character Playbook.
New to the program this year, players who win the national award – including the five current award winners Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and Jason Witten – will wear a Man of the Year patch on their jerseys in perpetuity to recognize their outstanding contributions to the game and to their communities. All 2017 team nominees, including McDonald, will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.
For the third year in a row, fans are encouraged to participate in the Walter Payton Man of the Year Charity Challenge. Between Dec. 11 – Jan. 7 (11:59 PM ET), fans can vote for the Buccaneers defensive tackle using #WPMOYChallenge along with McDonald's name on social media. The nominee who receives the most hashtag mentions will win an additional $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, the runner-up will receive $10,000 and the third-place winner will receive $5,000.
"We're proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL's best on and off the field," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts."
The NFL announced last month a Super Bowl Ticket Giveaway, a new initiative this season to surprise fans across the country with an invitation to attend Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As a Man of the Year nominee, Clinton McDonald received two Super Bowl LII tickets to give away to community heroes.
To learn more about McDonald's nomination, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
*ABOUT CLINTON MCDONALD
Since joining the Buccaneers in 2014, McDonald has embraced the Tampa Bay community and displayed outstanding character through his dedication to impacting the Bay Area. McDonald is a leader and motivator among his teammates and takes the same approach to his community service. In 2017, following Hurricane Irma, McDonald organized and sponsored food trucks throughout areas of the Tampa Bay community that were without power from the storm and, over the course of two weeks, helped provide more than 15,000 meals to local residents. Each year, in his hometown of Jacksonville, Arkansas, McDonald also co-hosts the annual "Iron Sharpens Iron" week that includes a free football and cheer camp, a golf tournament and bowling tournament that benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Jacksonville. He also is committed to supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Arkansas, where he makes visits in the offseason.
For the second consecutive year, McDonald was nominated for the NFL Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA. With a deep family history of military service, including his grandfather who served in the Korean War; his father, a former Air Force engineer and Vietnam War veteran; his uncle, also a Vietnam veteran; and his brother, recently medically discharged from the Air Force, it is no surprise that a passion for supporting military families is at the heart of McDonald's community outreach. The pride and sacrifice one experiences growing up in a military family are things McDonald knows well, and his commitment to serving those sharing his military upbringing is evident in how he connects with the community.
McDonald, a proud USAA member, was selected as a 2017 NFL spokesperson in the "USAA Member Voices" commercial campaign, as he believes USAA shares the same qualities he stands for: loyalty, honor, and respect. Being raised in a military household, the same core principles are instilled in his family. For the past two years, McDonald has served as an honorary guest speaker at the Buccaneers General H Norman Schwarzkopf Military Family of the Year Awards at One Buccaneer Place. The event honors the families of active duty military members from each branch of service and recognizes their integrity, courage, commitment, and service before self.
When an opportunity is presented to support the military, McDonald is the first to step up. In 2016, the City of Orlando hosted the Invictus Games – an international sporting event for active duty and veteran servicemen and servicewomen who have been injured or wounded. Prior to the kickoff of the Games, McDonald spent time visiting with Team USA, thanking each member for their sacrifices and sharing that their resilience and dedication inspire him.
McDonald continually finds ways to thank those who serve, as was evidenced by his effort to spend extra time with families at the Buccaneers' annual Military Appreciation Day at training camp. Following practice, McDonald, along with teammates and USAA, hosted the USAA's NFL Boot Camp where 30 active duty military competed in NFL Combine drills on the Buccaneers practice fields.
For the past two years, McDonald has helped organize initiatives to assist homeless veterans in Hillsborough County. The defensive tackle has worked to provide veterans with much-needed clothing by leading an organization-wide collection drive, and last year, he participated in a clothing drive and purchased meals for homeless veterans leading up to Veterans' Day. The efforts were in conjunction with Operation Reveille, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of military veterans who, despite demonstrated efforts, have struggled to find housing, jobs, health services, transportation and other basic needs. Recently, he has worked closely with the Wounded Warrior Project to support and empower local service members who have sacrificed for our country.
For more information on all 32 team nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
*Below is a list of recent Buccaneers Man of the Year winners, dating back to 2000:
- 2017 DT Clinton McDonald
- 2016 WR Vincent Jackson
- 2015 WR Vincent Jackson
- 2014 WR Vincent Jackson
- 2013 WR Vincent Jackson
- 2012 G Davin Joseph
- 2011 G Davin Joseph
- 2010 LB Adam Hayward
- 2009 RB Clifton Smith
- 2008 QB Jeff Garcia
- 2007 K Matt Bryant
- 2006 CB Ronde Barber
- 2005 LB Ryan Nece
- 2004 LB Shelton Quarles
- 2003 S John Lynch
- 2002 S John Lynch
- 2001 S John Lynch
- 2000 LB Derrick Brooks (NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner)