The Denver Broncos have chosen cornerback, Chris Harris, Jr. as their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. Nationwide’s prestigious honor recognizes a player for their leadership on the field as well as in the community.
The 2017 Walter Man of the Year Award will be announced on the NFL Honors on Saturday, February 3rd from 6-8 PM MST on NBC.
Executive VP of Public and Community Relations Patrick Smyth spoke highly on about Chris.
“The Broncos are proud of the positive impact our players have working with our community development team as well as advancing their own personal causes. We are incredibly honored to have Chris Harris Jr. Represent the Broncos as our Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his consistent and wide-ranging dedication to the bettering the lives of others. Giving back has always been very important to Pat Bolen, and we are grateful for the investment that Chris and his teammates make as leaders in our community.”
Chris is a 3 time Pro Bowler who has shined both on and off the field as a leader of his peers and the community. The Chris Harris Jr. Foundation was founded by Chris and his wife, its purpose is to give underprivileged kids unique opportunities to achieve their goals. Every summer Chris holds an Underdog Academy Football and Cheer Camp in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This camp teaches kids the football basics and how to be a true leader.
Because of his dedication to children, the Foundation has been able to touch hundreds of families including work he has done through the Denver Children’s Home . Since 2014 he has worked with the DCH and the Salvation Army to give families a shopping spree in an event he calls “Shop with a Jock”. This year Chris held a coat drive called “Coat for a Cause”, in which he collected 350 coats and was able to raise almost $6,000.
Per the Denver Broncos, Harris has been involved with many other initiatives both state and nationwide that speak against domestic violence. He has worked with the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s “How I See DV” campaign as well as the NFL’s NO MORE campaign. This year Chris has was part of a PSA in partnership with “Stand up Colorado,” an anti-violence campaign lead by the Colorado Attorney General that is meant to alter behavior and affect long-term social change.
Over the summer, Chris collaborated with Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock and is starting Mentor Colorado’s #MentoringFlipped campaign in an attempt to improve student-mentor relationships for young people.
On top of his extraordinary efforts off the field in the community, Chris has been praised for his overall professional and friendly demeanor. Both teammates and coaches alike have spoken highly about #25. Harris has won multiple awards due to his professional attitude and respect for the game and those who play it.
Chris Harris Jr. has a strong case to win the Man of the Year award come February.
Keep your eyes out for other Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees as they will wear special decals on their helmets for the rest of the season. The final winner of the award will receive a charitable contribution of $500,000 for charities of their choice. The last and only Bronco to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year award was John Elway in 1992.