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Joe Staley Nominated for 2016 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

For the second-consecutive season, San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley has been selected as the team's nominee for the third annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr. It is presented annually to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

Suiting up and being reliable are important parts in showing what type of person/player you are to not only your teammates, but your NFL peers. In a season that saw different starters at multiple positions for the 49ers, there was one lineman whose spot did not change the entire 2015 season and throughout 2016. Joe Staley started all 16 games at left tackle for San Francisco, something he's done in each of the past five total seasons and seven out of his nine years in the NFL. He has continued that trend and toughness into 2016, starting each of the team's first nine games protecting his quarterback's blindside.

Staley's demeanor and on-field success have resulted in the selection of five consecutive Pro Bowls and the honor of being nominated as a team captain in back-to-back seasons (2014-15). Off the field, prior to Super Bowl 50 held at Levi's Stadium in 2016, Staley gave away a pair of tickets and a signed game-worn jersey to single father Johnel Spivey and his seven-year old daughter, Jordan. Spivey, 54 had been on dialysis three days a week for the previous six years. During the 2015 offseason, he and his teammates invited Anthony Pineda, a 13-year-old who battled Leukemia, to be a "Captain for the Day" as part of ESPN's "My Wish" program. Pineda's initial invitation came from a video hosted by Staley, which displays the confidence in the type of person that he is, to make him the team "spokesperson" for this event. 

The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists (four in the AFC and four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 16. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.

For winning the award, Staley would receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.





Arizona Cardinals

DT Calais Campbell

Atlanta Falcons

FB Patrick DiMarco

Baltimore Ravens

G Marshal Yanda

Buffalo Bills

DT Kyle Williams

Carolina Panthers

TE Greg Olsen

Chicago Bears

LB Sam Acho

Cincinnati Bengals

WR A.J. Green

Cleveland Browns

T Joe Thomas

Dallas Cowboys

CB Brandon Carr

Denver Broncos

LB DeMarcus Ware

Detroit Lions

S Glover Quin

Green Bay Packers

LB Julius Peppers

Houston Texans

LB Brian Cushing

Indianapolis Colts

RB Frank Gore

Jacksonville Jaguars

LB Paul Posluszny

Kansas City Chiefs

LB Derrick Johnson

Los Angeles Rams

DE Robert Quinn

Miami Dolphins

T Branden Albert

Minnesota Vikings

CB Terence Newman

New England Patriots

S Devin McCourty

New Orleans Saints

T Zach Strief

New York Giants

WR Victor Cruz

New York Jets

WR Brandon Marshall

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr

Philadelphia Eagles

RB Darren Sproles

Pittsburgh Steelers

LB Arthur Moats

San Diego Chargers

QB Philip Rivers

San Francisco 49ers

T Joe Staley

Seattle Seahawks

WR Tyler Lockett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DT Gerald McCoy

Tennessee Titans

QB Marcus Mariota

Washington Redskins

QB Kirk Cousins

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