KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNT) – The Kansas City Chiefs announced Thursday tight end Travis Kelce was picked as the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
The award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
“We are thrilled to have Travis Kelce represent the Chiefs organization and the Kansas City community as our nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a news release. “From the time he was drafted in 2013, Travis has grown into one of the most dependable and dynamic players in team history – both on and off the football field. He continues to be the best tight end in the game, and he is well on his way to being remembered as one of greatest ever to play the position.
Being nominated as the Chiefs Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year is one of the greatest honors of my professional career,” Kelce said. “This team and this community have been an incredibly important part of my life for the past eight years, and I’m humbled because there are so many players who are also doing so much to serve others and are deserving of this recognition. The 87 & Running Foundation began to help disadvantaged youth by mentoring and motivating them to explore and develop their abilities and aspire beyond their circumstances. I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done and want to thank my foundation team for their dedication and the Chiefs for their support of this important work. What I’ve accomplished on the field alongside my teammates over the years – especially last year – means so much more knowing that what has been accomplished off of the field is making a difference in the lives of others here in Kansas City and in my hometown of Cleveland Heights.”Travis Kelce, Chiefs Tight End
In 2015, Kelce started his 87 & Running Foundation, which empowers disadvantaged kids to achieve success by providing resources and support to their communities. According to a news release, the foundation has donated $750,000 to various charities with another $250,000 set to be donated by the end of this year.
This season, Kelce leads all Chiefs pass catchers in receptions, yards and yards after catch and is tied for the team lead in targets. He’s currently tied for the league lead in tight end receiving touchdowns. His 1,114 receiving yards are the second-most by any player in the league this season, while his 82 receptions are the fifth-most in the NFL. Additionally, his 61 first down receptions are the most by any player in the league this year.
Fans can vote for Kelce or another favorite player on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their last name. The player whose hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan. 17 will get a $25,000 donation to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishes get a $10,000 donation and $5,000 donation.