The San Francisco 49ers announced DL Arik Armstead as their 2023 nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award presented by Nationwide. Considered one of the NFL's most prestigious honors, the award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
Armstead has earned the unprecedented distinction of being the 49ers Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee for a fourth year in recognition of his unrivaled accomplishments on the field and in the community. This year, Armstead's significant community investments through his time and donations were even grander than his 6'7" stature. Centered on social justice, he cemented his commitment to education equity through his foundation, the Armstead Academic Project, established in 2019.
Here are the stats and facts you need to know about Armstead's impact in the community:
- 1 key to the City of Sacramento awarded by Mayor Darrell Steinberg for recognizing Armstead's invaluable community contributions
- 4-time 49ers Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee
- Week 5 NFL Players Association Community MVP
- 7 "Storytime with Arik Armstead" reading events hosted in 2023
- 42+ in-person and virtual classrooms impacted through the "Storytime with Arik Armstead" program, encouraging students to reach grade-level literacy standards
- 200 books donated to the Sacramento Literacy Festival
- 500 students hosted for Armstead's 2023 free football and wellness camp and Sacramento State University college tour
- 2,577+ students in total sponsored and hosted for youth football camps and college field trips
- 3,000+ books distributed in the 49ers 2023 Read for Justice event hosted by Armstead, where he read aloud to second-grade students and encouraged conversation around social justice
- 3,272 total students in attendance of the defensive lineman's "Storytime with Arik Armstead" program
- $20,500+ in holiday gifts purchased, wrapped and delivered to UC Davis Hospital pediatric patients for six-consecutive years
- 80,000 unfunded Black children in California supported from Armstead's continued advocacy efforts, securing a commitment from Governor Newsom to increase resources for the lowest-performing students, particularly students of color
- $100,000 donated to Teach For America and Square Root Academy to help youth meet literacy standards and learn about AI technology, respectively
- $303,000+ raised at the Armstead Academic Project's inaugural Kick Off for Kids Gala to support youth academic success
- 427,015 children impacted from Armstead's supported Literacy Bill to ensure that the state prioritizes library access to every third-grade student in the state
- $500,000+ donated to Mercy Housing to support Sacramento youth in low-income housing complexes, providing meals and educational supplies
- 516,500+ youth and families lives impacted through Armstead Academic Project
- $2,000,000+ personally raised and donated in support of Sacramento and Bay Area youth since the Armstead Academic Project's inception in 2019
The Faithful are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. 49ers Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with "Arik Armstead" or "@arikarmstead". The Faithful can also vote for Armstead directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. The nominee who receives the most collective hashtag mentions and votes will win an additional $35,000 donation from Nationwide to the charity of their choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000 and the third-place winner receiving $5,000. Charity Challenge voting takes place from December 5th to January 8th.
To honor his extensive work in the community, with the team and the Armstead Academic Project, the 49ers have named Armstead as their 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, presented by Nationwide.