The New York Giants have named Saquon Barkley their nominee for the 2022 Walter Payton Man of The Year Award.
“Being the recipient for the New York Giants and getting honored is truly amazing,” Barkley said in a statement from the team. “It’s something that was a goal of mine when I got drafted. I want to win the whole thing. But it’s not just about winning the award. It’s all about the work you do within the community to try to make an impact and try to make change. I’m very fortunate. I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to play the sport that I love and live out my dream and be able to have an impact on children. That’s something I wanted to do from the moment I stepped on the field and the moment I was drafted by the Giants. To finally be a recipient for them and hopefully the winner for them is something that’s a dream of mine and a goal of mine. Hopefully, I’m able to accomplish it.
“But being honored and being the recipient for the New York Giants is a blessing within itself. If you don’t win the award, I know the things I was able to do in the community and the impact that I’ve been able to have. If someone beats me out for the award, that’s a good thing. That’s a good thing for the world. That’s the only thing I’m about: spreading positivity, spreading good vibes and trying to make a change.”
Barkley is heavily involved in the community, both around the Giants’ facilities and around his native Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year, Barkley partnered with St. Luke’s University Health Network to create the Saquon Barkley Center of Excellence. The Center is a multi-purpose sports facility with the goal of providing opportunities to underserved youth, support them academically, and provide health and wellness services to Barkley’s hometown of Whitehall.
Barkley is also in his fourth year as the celebrity chair for Covenant House New Jersey, which provides immediate shelter and long-term assistance for young adults facing homelessness or human trafficking. In his role, he’s helped raise millions of dollars for Covenant House. He’s also involved with Children of Promise, a New York City non-profit which provides after school programming, summer camps, counseling, and mentorship for children who are impacted by the incarceration of a family member.
He is also heavily involved with Make-A-Wish and has hosted numerous kids facing life-threatening illnesses at Giants’ practices and games.
Barkley joins Logan Ryan, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Nate Solder as the Giants’ recent nominees — and obviously 2016 Man of The Year Eli Manning.