ATLANTA (AP) — Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long has won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his outstanding community service.
Long, the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, founded the Chris Long Foundation in 2015, and tasked it with four missions: clean water, military appreciation, combating homelessness and serving young people.
Then, last season, Long donated his entire salary to support education in cities where he has played — St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, Long climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with other NFL players and some U.S. military veterans to raise money to build clean water wells for East Africa.
"Yeah, it's a tremendous honor," Long said. "It's not why we do the work we do off the field. I think the other 31 nominees are remarkable men. I had the privilege of hanging out with them all week and a lot of them already know I learned (about) a lot of their causes and I'm excited to see if there's synergy as a brotherhood in different causes that we are involved in.
"I don't know, I'm very humbled. It's hard to feel deserving with those guys on stage and, obviously, this guy right here on the statue. It's a very heavy statue and it makes sense because his legacy is immense. I'm just honored."