New York Giant Saquon Barkley Nominated for 2023 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

NY Giants Saquon Barkley | Covenant House

Saquon Barkley is not a one-dimensional football player, nor is he when it comes to his charitable efforts.

That makes him special on both fronts and why he is the New York Giants nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the league's most prestigious honor and acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities.

All 32 club nominees will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season. The winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special, on Thursday, February 8. Barkley, who was also the Giants' nominee last year, will look to join Eli Manning (2016) as the only Giants players to win the award.

Walter Payton Man of the Year NFL nominee and NY Giants player - Saquon Barkley | Covenant House

Each of this year's nominees will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice.

"I understand that God has blessed me with an unbelievable talent along with an unbelievable opportunity to play in the National Football League and to be a person that a lot of kids look up to," Barkley said. "I want to make sure that with the time I have playing in the NFL and on this earth, I try to make a change, try to make an impact on someone's life and fulfill my purpose."

As a child, Barkley was always able to rely on the support of his parents, even when his family didn't have a place to call home. For this reason, he has dedicated his time and platform to two local charities that support young people who cannot do the same.

Barkley adopted Covenant House New Jersey, which assists young people (ages 18-21) who are facing homelessness and human trafficking by offering immediate shelter and longer-term services to help them transition to independence.

Barkley has helped raise $7 million in critical funds for Covenant House in the last five years. He is the celebrity chairman of Covenant House New Jersey's "Sleep Out: Executive Edition" overnight fundraiser. Prior to his involvement, the annual event raised $750,000 but now raises $1.6 million. This year's Sleep Out is being held on Thursday, December 7 at MetLife Stadium.

"Covenant House New Jersey, I can definitely relate to with homelessness," Barkley said. "I wasn't homeless for a long time, but there was a time in my life that we were homeless. I know how much it meant to have family members, to have friends that were able to help and look out and help us get back on our feet. When I think back on that time in my life, my parents did such a really good job that, as a child, you really didn't realize it, to be completely honest. My parents (Alibay Barkley and Tonya Johnson) worked really hard and tried their best, and that's why I'm so thankful to be able to have both parents in my life and have an unbelievable family. Knowing now, I can understand how someone who cares about you and someone who wants to help and someone who wants to make change, I know how much that impacted my life … I want to do the same for others."

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