Russell Wilson didn’t get his first MVP vote when the NFL announced its season awards Saturday night.
But Wilson got an honor he may value even more, taking the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award during the league’s official awards ceremony.
Wilson is only the second Seahawk to win the award. Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent won it in 1988. Wilson won the trophy after being nominated for the second time. He was also nominated in 2014.
In his acceptance speech, Wilson first referenced his father, Harrison, who died of complications of diabetes in 2010.
“Dad, I know one of your favorite athletes of all time was Walter Payton,” Wilson said. “The player he was, but more importantly the man he was, the leader, the giver, the person. Man, Dad, I wish you were here for this award. This moment. Dad, I can remember you telling me in the car one day, ‘Son, love changes things.’ Well, Dad, you were right. I wish you were here to tell the world that in the toughest of times. 2020 was the most difficult times in history.”
Wilson was honored for a variety of off-field and charitable activities that include visits every Tuesday during the regular season to Seattle Children’s hospital, which he continued this year virtually, as well as his Why Not You Foundation donating over $9 million to Strong Against Cancer to fund lifesaving immunotherapy treatment since 2014.
Wilson has often said one reason he began visiting Seattle Children’s hospital was the influence of his mother, Tammy, who was an emergency room nurse while he was growing up in Richmond, Virginia.
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SOURCE: The Seattle Times, Bob Condotta