RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks announced today WR Tyler Lockett as the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide. Considered one of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Each of the league's 32 nominees were announced today.
On the field, Lockett is a two-time Pro Bowler and has earned AP All-Pro honors three times as a return specialist. He currently ranks fourth in Seahawks franchise history in receiving touchdowns, fifth in receiving yards, sixth in receptions and second in punt return yards. During the 2020 season, he established a franchise record with 100 receptions, topping his previous career high of 82 set in 2019, and finished the 2020 season with 1,054 total yards.
"To be named the Seahawks Man of the Year, for me, is truly a blessing and does really mean a lot to me," said Lockett. "Being able to be highlighted for everything I'm doing off the field, that's what's truly special to me, because that's what gives me joy, that's what allows me to have meaning; being able to try to show people outside of football that they too, are able to win in life. I give back because that's what puts a smile on my face."
Throughout his seven-year career in the NFL, Lockett has consistently dedicated his time to helping those in need. His philanthropic efforts include:
Support for the Community
Lockett's impact in the community has spread from the Seattle area to Kansas, where he was a student at Kansas State, as well as to his home state of Oklahoma. Through his Light It Up Foundation, Lockett continues to inspire others through a variety of programs and initiatives, including charitable programs to support the Black community, youth, students, the homeless, domestic violence victims and many more.
In 2021, more than $32,000 worth of clothing, shoes and food were donated by Lockett's Light It Up Foundation to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. The Tulsa Day Center serves those who are experiencing or at risk for homelessness.
This year, Lockett also donated $6,000 to support Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa's only nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive intervention and prevention services to men, women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence.
Lockett also continues to find ways to support the Black community and educate others on Black history. He teamed up with Tulsa's Fulton Street Books & Coffee to raise money for Black-owned businesses while shining a light on Black history through his series of bookmarks.
Dedication to Youth
In 2021 he established a new college scholarship program, selecting seven students to receive $34,000 in scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year. The students awarded scholarships have been admitted to Tennessee State University, Wichita State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oral Roberts University, and Tulsa Community College.
Through Lockett's Youth Sports Leadership Initiative, he identifies youth sports organizations that could excel and benefit from the donation of clothing, funding and leadership principles. In 2021, Lockett identified three organizations in Oklahoma to receive $21,000 in Adidas uniforms and funding.
Partnering with the Kansas State Athletics Department in 2021, Lockett provided $10,000 to the Kansas State football team to implement the Catapult data tracking technology for the 2021 season. This wearable technology allows teams to track player distance traveled, explosive plays, and load (the physiological toll a movement takes). Providing teams with more player data allows them to make real time decisions as they determine how to best manage the health of their players.
In 2019, Lockett launched a job shadow program that seeks to identify high school seniors from disadvantaged backgrounds in Tulsa and provide them with opportunities to learn from leaders across all industries. In the first year of the program, three students visited the Seattle Seahawks and learned from a variety of departments across the organization. Each student selected receives a college scholarship from Lockett as well.
Since 2017, he has hosted a Youth Football ProCamp in Seattle and Oklahoma. Over the two-day camps, more than 300 youth receive skill training from Lockett and other coaches including instruction, lectures, fundamental football skills, contests, and non-contact games in a high energy, fun, and positive environment.
Dedication to Inspiring Others
Lockett has a passion for supporting the Black community and advancing efforts in social justice and racial equality. Lockett used his platform in a variety of ways throughout 2020, encouraging everyone to use their voice and vote in the election. He recorded a variety of videos including Celebrating Resilience during Black History Month, promotion of a documentary called Black Boys and the reading of his poem, Reality vs. Perception.
Throughout his time with the Seahawks he has supported a variety of the team's community engagement efforts, including speaking at Character Playbook events, encouraging youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs through the Game Changers program, and providing joy to Make-A-Wish kids. He makes regular appearances at schools throughout each year, even surprising some kids virtually during the pandemic.
Outside of his work on and off the field, Lockett is also a published author, having published his first book of poetry, titled "Reflection," in 2019. In his book, Lockett explores topics such as identity, sports, race, relationships and how to live a purposeful life. This poetry has inspired those around the world to pursue their dreams. This year, Seattle-based Urban ArtWorks created a mural at Lumen Field inspired by his poetry.
NFL Man of the Year Nominees
As a nominee, Lockett will 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.
For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LVI. The 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI, on ABC.
All 32 nominees will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 7th 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 or Twitter handle. 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, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.
Take a look at Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett in the community, both in the Seattle area and beyond, throughout his NFL playing career. Lockett was named the Seahawks' 2021 nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, given to a player for his excellence on and off the field.