The New York Giants have nominated left tackle Nate Solder for the Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award.
Every year each of the 32 teams nominate one player for the award, which recognizes players for their charitable works and service to the community. Last year the Giants nominated safety Michael Thomas. Solder was previously nominated by the New England Patriots.
In their release nominating Solder, the Giants said:
“The Giants’ left tackle is a chronic giver. He never met a person in need he didn’t want to help or a good cause he didn’t want to contribute to. In his two seasons with the Giants, Solder and his wife, Lexi, have been immersed in numerous good causes, using their time, compassion, vison, commitment and money to help people from right here in New Jersey all the way to Africa and Central America. And they’ve done it under challenging circumstances.”
“I would definitely say Nate being Man of the Year twice on two different teams would be a highlight of his career, and he has some pretty good highlights,” Lexi Solder said of her husband. “I think that’s bigger than anything that he can do on the football field, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m really proud of him for both things, because he knows very well that this is not about him. He knows that God made him 6-9 and 330 pounds and capable of playing football very well, but he uses that in so many different ways. I would definitely say that’s what makes me most proud of him, is that he recognizes that, he knows that and he does it, he acts on it.”
“He 100 percent deserves it,” Giants’ safety Michael Thomas said of Solder. “When I was nominated last year, I thought about all of my teammates who do amazing things and who are also deserving, and Nate Solder was one of those main ones. Everything that he does is genuine. That’s just who he is as a person. I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving.”
This year Solder and his wife Lexi became involved in Compassion International, helping to provide food, medical care, and education to children in Thailand, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.
Closer to home, Solder is the 2019 ambassador to the “Heart Of A Giant” program to recognize the area’s most inspiring high school football player.
The Giants’ release mentioned that Solder has persevered and helped others despite difficult circumstances. Those circumstances include his son’s battle with cancer.
“No one would question if the Solders chose not to extend themselves to others while they endure the kind of challenge no family wants,” the Giants said in their release. “Their four-year-old son, Hudson, was diagnosed with a rare Wilms tumor in both kidneys at 3 months old. During the bye week, Hudson underwent surgery to have a tumor removed and he is currently undergoing his third round of chemotherapy.”
The Solders help raise money for Boston Childrens’ Hospital, are committee members of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation as well as founding the Hudson Solder “Tough Like My Dad Fund” which helps offset living expenses incurred by families battling cancer that aren’t covered by insurance.
Congratulations to Nate on his nomination, and I think everyone will join me in sending our best wishes to the Solder family in this difficult time.