18 May Darius Butler Named Colts Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Nominee
Each year the award is given to a player who has a significant impact on the community, and Butler has definitely made such a positive difference as a member of the Colts organization.
Among his other community initiatives (via NFL.com):
From the day he arrived in Indianapolis, Darius has donated his time and resources for numerous causes. For the past five seasons, he has donated tickets, hats and meal vouchers to the Indianapolis nonprofit, Boys II Men, Inc. Through this initiative, over 500 underprivileged boys have been able to experience a Colts game.
Additionally, Darius formed the Darius Butler Foundation, which aims to tackle hunger in underserved communities, inspire at-risk youth to achieve their dreams and score in the classroom. The Foundation has been an active leader in the community with over nine programs and initiatives, focusing on youth development and community engagement. Understanding that education can change the trajectory of a child’s life, the Foundation has begun an academic summer tutoring camp that provides academic support to help high school students master studying and test-taking skills. The objective is to not only help students pass standardized tests, but also equip them with the tools necessary to succeed in institutions of higher education.
For the past three seasons, Darius has participated in a Thanksgiving meal distribution, which annually provides 100 meals to people in need. In addition, Darius volunteers at the annual Colts Care Holiday Shopping event, which provides gifts for underserved children in the Indianapolis community.
Last year’s Colts representative was recently retired offensive tackle Joe Reitz, so Butler is following as another standup individual and a true ‘horseshoe guy’, who’s made a meaningful impact both on and off the field.
On the season, the 9-year veteran safety has 22 tackles, 3 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles in 11 games (2 starts).
Each nominee “will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field”.
The ultimate winner of this year’s ‘Walter Payton Man of the Year Award’ will be announced on NFL Honors night on the eve of Super Bowl LII on February 3, 2018, which is aired on FOX. However, each player who was named a nominee this year is already a ‘winner’ in their own right.