For the third consecutive year, Bucs receiver Mike Evans has been nominated by his franchise for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the team announced Tuesday morning.
Evans, 28, is the third Bucs player to be nominated at least three times for the honor since 2000, joining safety John Lynch (2001-2003) and receiver Vincent Jackson (2013-2016). Derrick Brooks (2000) is the only Buccaneer to win the award, which recognizes outstanding community service activities off the field and excellence on it.
“It’s an honor to be recognized with the very best in the league for the impact that we make in our communities,” Evans said in a statement released by the team. “I’m blessed to play football for a living, but the true value of our work comes in how we uplift those in need of support. To be nominated three years in a row, it’s extremely humbling.”
Evans, on pace for his eighth consecutive season of at least 1,000 receiving yards (57 catches, 794 yards), is celebrating the four-year anniversary of his foundation that he created with his wife, Ashli.
The Mike Evans Family Foundation supports students and families in need year-round. Its signature event, the “Catch for Christmas,” raises money for victims of domestic violence, provides gifts for local children and helps fund college scholarships for students.
Additionally, the foundation committed $100,000 to support United Way Suncoast and the Galveston, Texas community (Evans’ hometown) to assist relief efforts during the global pandemic. Evans also participated in the Twitch Steam Aid, a 12-hour gaming event that raised more than $2.7 million for the World Health Organization.
His participation in team and NFL initiatives included a role in the launch of BUCSVOTE, a public-service campaign promoting voter registration and participation. Evans acknowledged he didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election but did so in 2020.
And in 2020, he bonded via Zoom with 23-year-old Marco Solis during his battle with metastatic colorectal cancer. Evans supported the family with care packages and financial assistance leading up to Marco’s passing in July of 2020, and hosted the Solis family at a game to greet them in person for the first time.
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a prime-time awards special to air the week of Super Bowl 56. All 32 nominees receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice, while the winner receives a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
Fans can vote for Evans on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge Evans or #WPMOYChallenge @MikeEvans13_ to support the Mike Evans Family Foundation.
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The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 7 and Jan. 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to his charity of choice, while the second- and third-place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, respectively. In addition, Nationwide will donate $10,000 to the first nominee to receive a million votes.
For more information, go to this link.
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