San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead has been named the 49ers 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, an award given annually to a player demonstrating outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
Armstead's fourth-consecutive nomination demonstrates his steadfast dedication and commitment to the community. Since 2019, the defensive lineman has helped raise and personally donated over $2 million in support of Sacramento and Bay Area youth. As a team captain, Armstead encourages his teammates to use their platform to support underserved communities, welcoming them by his side to empower and inspire.
This year, the team surprised Armstead with the news of his WPMOY nomination by playing a video of his teammates sharing heartfelt messages on how the defensive lineman has positively impacted their personal lives and football careers. You can watch Armstead being surprised by defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and his teammates here:
Here's what the 49ers defensive line had to say about Armstead's fourth-consecutive nomination:
"He's the blueprint... He's how you want to act on the field, off the field, as a leader. I'm serious. I just wanted to say I appreciate you. I've only been here for about a month and a half but obviously we came into the league together in 2015. To see you make it this far, as successful as you are off the field, on the field, in the community, as a father, as a husband, just to have a leader like you leading us the way, it's a big deal. So I really do appreciate you."
"You inspire me, I'm sure you inspire all the other guys around us. With that being said, continue to be an inspiration."
"Since I've been on this team, you've been a staple. You're a major role model for me in every way that you could ever imagine. It's bar none what you do for the Bay Area, especially Sactown. I've leaned on you for so long and I don't know what I'd be doing right now or where my career would be at if it weren't for you. I love that dude. Words can't even describe, I love that dude for real."
"I really appreciate you. Everything you do on the field and off the field. Ever since I got here, you had open arms and welcomed me in. You're really showing me how to be a 49er."
"Since I've got on the team, I can just tell by how you walk around and how you carry yourself that you really care about your teammates, you really care about your team. You're definitely a leader in my eyes, on and off the field."
"Being with you these past five years now, it's been an honor playing with you. Getting to know you as a person, as a man and as a dad."
"You've welcomed me in as a rookie and have shown me how to be a professional and how to continue to grow my career as a football player. I'll always thank you for that."
"They call you the blueprint. I've really just been watching you and just trying to follow in your footsteps."
"Thank you for everything you've done for me since I've been here. You've definitely inspired me to do more in the community. I appreciate you, A. Thank you."
"Congratulations, this is huge. Four times, huge accomplishment. You make all of us want to be better as players and as men off the field. Thank you."
"I just wanted to congratulate you. Ever since I came into the league, you've been a leader to me and you've shown me the way. Not only on the field, but off the field with how you attack your community work. Keep doing amazing work. I love you, man."
"Thank you for welcoming me in and making the transition easy... Just thank you for being you."
"I just wanted to let you know how proud of you I am. So much of my progression so far in my short career has been a testament to just having that guidance from you brother, so I'm thankful for you. I wish you nothing but success and I'm just happy to be a part of it – with you every step of the way. I love you."
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.