Andrew Whitworth’s knee will keep him from suiting up for the Rams tonight, but his impact on the LA community through his work with the team will not go unnoticed. Whitworth was nominated by the Rams as their representative for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award thanks to his commitment to making a difference in the community and since he won’t be available to play tonight, the team is doing something a little different.
They’ll be displaying cardboard cutouts of “154 faces of those who have been impacted by Whitworth’s generosity” in the stands for their game against the New England Patriots on Thursday.
As a nominee, Whitworth has been chosen to wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field. However due to a knee injury sustained in Week 9, the Rams are placing 154 fan cutouts featuring the faces of those who have been impacted by Whitworth’s generosity and charitable spirit in SoFi Stadium seats for the team’s Thursday Night Football matchup on December 10th, to coincide with the NFL’s announcement of team nominees. The cutouts will be positioned to display a “77” in the seats during the primetime matchup.
Here is more from Whitworth and COO Kevin Demoff on the nomination:
“The greatest thing in life is to be able to invest in the people around you,” said Whitworth. “I’m always asking myself, ‘What can I do for this community?’ I want to put my arms around them. I want to stand right beside them. It’s never about me, it’s about all of us. It’s about a difference we can make together and how we can inspire each other to be there for one another. As great as it is to have people cheering us on every Sunday, it means the world to me to go out and pay that back. I want to show people that I’m not just an athlete that’s here to play ball, but that I’m here to make a difference. I believe that’s what will stand the test of time.”
“From the moment Andrew became part of the Los Angeles Rams, he has inspired our organization and the Los Angeles community with his exceptional leadership and commitment to serving others,” said Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff. “We are grateful to have leaders like Andrew, a pillar of our team, who consistently leaves us in awe with his ability to rally his teammates and Angelenos to come together and address critical issues in our community.”
Here is how you can help Whitworth and his charities win the award this season.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s 6th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee’s last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide.