Washington, D.C. – The NFL Players Association is proud to announce the five finalists for the 2021 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award: Geno Atkins (Cincinnati Bengals), Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans), Hayden Hurst (Atlanta Falcons), Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs) and Harrison Phillips (Buffalo Bills).
The winner is scheduled to be announced at 3:30 p.m. EST on February 4 at the NFLPA’s annual Super Bowl press conference. The honoree will receive a $100,000 donation to his foundation or charity of choice.
The Alan Page Community (APC) Award is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player. The award annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his team city and/or hometown. Each of the finalists will receive an additional $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice, with the winner being determined this week through a league-wide vote by their NFL peers.
This marks the third straight year that Atkins has been selected as an APC finalist. The veteran defensive lineman earned Week 12 NFLPA Community MVP honors for hosting his third annual “Atkins Week of Giving,” this time during the Thanksgiving holiday. The eight-day campaign impacted more than 800 essential workers and underserved people in the Cincinnati area while providing more than $50,000 in contributions. Gifts included a shopping spree for 20 kids in Athens, Georgia; Thanksgiving meal bundles and dinners to immunocompromised individuals and first responders; and a Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed for a teenage girl facing a challenging health condition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
In being named Week 0 NFLPA Community MVP, Byard personally packed and distributed more than 300 distance-learning kits, benefitting more than 100 disadvantaged families in the metropolitan Nashville area. The kits included school supplies, essential hygiene items, backpacks, gift cards and sporting goods. The Titans safety wanted to lend a helping hand to families who had lost jobs and may not have had the resources available to transition to a new style of living and learning due to the pandemic.
Hurst, who publicly shared his battle with depression and attempted suicide in a video on the Atlanta Falcons website, received an outpouring of support, raising more than $150,000 in donations to The Hayden Hurst Family Foundation. The Week 13 NFLPA Community MVP in turn has reached out to nearly 700 individuals who contacted him asking for mental health assistance while sharing their own stories. The funding allowed his foundation to support the mental health of nearly 270 teachers, 5,500 students and 8,185 parents through social and emotional training programs in schools in Atlanta, Maryland and South Carolina while also providing assistance to two low-income schools in Florida.
As part of his continued efforts to combat voter suppression, Mahomes spearheaded a push to turn Arrowhead Stadium into a polling station during the 2020 general election. In partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs and his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, the Week 9 NFLPA Community MVP helped foot the six-figure bill to cover the cost for new voting machines to be used in future elections for the next ten years.
During a time when most movie theaters were closed and the lives of children have been upended, Phillips answered the call by renting out a drive-in movie area for more than 200 families with children who have special needs and developmental differences. The Week 5 NFLPA Community MVP also gave each family a play pack filled with sports equipment, hosted a socially distanced contest of “Simon Says” and invited the local police and fire departments to do special presentations.
The nominees for the award were pulled from the NFLPA’s 2020 Community MVP campaign, where 18 players were honored every week during the regular season for their outreach efforts. Each Community MVP was previously awarded $10,000 for his foundation or charity of choice, and our supporting partner Pledge It set up a crowdfunding campaign to benefit a cause selected by the player. Additionally, supporting partner Athlita Comics created a limited-edition comic illustration of each Community MVP serving their communities while using scenes inspired by classic movie posters.
A panel of judges from across labor, media, sport and service narrowed the pool of 18 candidates down to five finalists. The panel included former NFL player Israel Idonije, Emmanuel Idonije and Teresa Myers (Athlita Comics), Aaron Gallant (Internal Communications Specialist for the AFL-CIO), Mike Jones (NFL writer for USA Today), Marc Pollick (president and founder of The Giving Back Fund) and Todd Smith (director of business development for Pledge It).
Learn more about the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award.
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