American Football

Colts LB Zaire Franklin nominated for ‘2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year’

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Indianapolis Colts
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It’s the latest community honor for Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin, who’s had a breakout campaign on the field.

In the midst of a breakout campaign on the field, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin has also been nominated by his team for the ‘2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year’ as a servant leader in his local Indy and hometown Philadelphia communities:

Regarding the spirit and recognition of the prestigious annual award:

“The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970. It was renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton. Each team nominates one player who has had a significant positive impact on his community.

Representing the best of the NFL’s commitment to philanthropy and community impact, 32 players are selected as their team’s Man of the Year and become eligible to win the national award.

The winner of the award each year receives a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All 32 nominees receive up to a $55,000 donation to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

The winner of this year’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will be announced live at NFL Honors on Thursday, February 8th at 9PM Eastern on CBS.”

Even though all the nominees are ‘winners’ here, legendary Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was the last member of the franchise to ultimately win the award back in 2005.

Franklin is 2nd in the league right now with total tackles (130), but it’s also his community initiatives off-the-field including ‘Shelice’s Angels,’ which seeks to professionally empower young women to honor his late mother, that make him such a stand-up special leader for the Colts and society at-large:

“I want that to be first and foremost — yes, he was a great player, yes he was a great leader. But also he affected every community in which he was in in a positive manner,” Franklin said via Colts.com regarding his nomination.

“And he left it better (than) how he found it.”

Good luck, Zaire! Indianapolis and the Colts franchise are lucky to have you.

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