The Houston Texans announced today that linebacker Christian Kirksey is the team's nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. This award is considered the league's most prestigious honor and recognizes a player for their outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on the field.
"We are proud to call Christian Kirksey a leader on our team and in the Houston community," Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said. "He sets an example for everyone on how to do things on and off the field, and he is incredibly deserving of this honor."
Throughout his NFL career, Kirksey has demonstrated his commitment to the community and exemplifies what it means to be a leader. Last season, Kirksey celebrated the Texans' partnership with Texas Southern University, awarded a local high school coach with Coach of the Week honors and spoke to high school students about the right way to carry themselves both on and off the field. Most recently, Kirksey traveled to Uvalde, Texas following the tragedy at Robb Elementary School to surprise the Uvalde High School football team at their team dinner, provide players with new Nike uniforms and make meaningful connections with the young men.
"I think that we have a job not just playing football, but to be role models and to be a helping hand," Kirksey said as he sat with a group of players from the Uvalde High School football team at their team dinner in September.
In recognition of this nomination, Kirksey will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the 2022 Season.
Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today and will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will be announced the Thursday before Super Bowl LVII on NBC and receive up to a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice courtesy of the NFL Foundation.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the eighth annual Charity Challenge by tweeting #WPMOYChallenge and their favorite nominee's Twitter handle to vote for their team's nominee. Kirksey's Twitter handle is @Kirko58. The three nominees with the most mentions between Dec. 6 and Jan. 8 will receive additional donations to the charity of their choice. More information and official rules for the social media contest can be found at NFL.com/manoftheyear.
Christian Kirksey was surprised with the news that he is the Texans' 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee by his mom, fiancée and two children, Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair, Vice President of the Texans Foundation Hannah McNair, Uvalde HS linebacker Justyn Rendon and Uvalde HS Head Coach Wade Miller. Christian also surprised Justyn and Coach Miller with tickets to Super Bowl LVII.