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Saquon Barkley is Giants’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

Barkley is the Giants’ nominee for the second consecutive season

New York Giants v Washington Commanders
Saquon Barkley
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

With all the talk about Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants during this offseason, the running back has continued to be a leader both on and off the field. That standard of excellence is epitomized by his nomination as the Giants’ Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist for the second consecutive season.

“I understand that God has blessed me with an unbelievable talent along with an unbelievable opportunity to play in the National Football League and to be a person that a lot of kids look up to,” Barkley said. “I want to make sure that with the time I have playing in the NFL and on this earth, I try to make a change, try to make an impact on someone’s life and fulfill my purpose.”

Barkley’s contributions include helping raise $7 million for Covenant House New Jersey, which assists young adults facing homelessness and human trafficking. Barkley himself faced homelessness at times as a child but recognizes how the support of his parents helped him feel secure. He wants to provide that same security for others. He also partners with Children of Promise NYC to support children dealing with the incarceration of a parent or sibling, including bringing them to Giants games.

“I know a lot of people whose [parents] have been in jail,” said Barkley. I wanted to find a way where I could make an impact on them... It’s truly an honor every single time they come to the games on Sunday... just to be able to see all those smiles on those kids’ faces, they bring so much joy in my life... I’m just happy that I’m able [to do] something so small as bring them to a football game on Sunday and it can go a long way.”

Barkley’s other project is his Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation, named after his paternal grandmother. He uses the foundation to help children in many contexts, including hosting and coaching free football camps.

“I feel like a lot of times you get foundations, and they have one goal, one purpose,” Barkley said. “For Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation, what we stand for, our hope is any way we can make a change.”

Eli Manning (2016) is the only Giants player to ever win the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Barkley seeks to join him.

Here is the full list of nominees.

This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in the annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with Barkley or @saquon, or by voting directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear.

The nominee who receives the most collective hashtag mentions and votes will win an additional $35,000 donation to the charity of their choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000 and the third-place winner receiving $5,000. Charity Challenge voting takes place from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8.