The National Football League announced Tuesday that it has created a new annual award that will honor a player for on-field sportsmanship.
NFL players will vote to determine the winner of the award.
“While we enjoy the incredible performance of NFL players on the field, we must never forget a core value of football that transcends all levels of play and exemplifies the complete athlete—sportsmanship,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. “This award will recognize those who never hesitate to show that excellence in football is not achieved without respect for the game, for their opponents, for the officials and for the fans.”
Each team will nominate a player for the award, and a panel of four former players -- Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler -- will nominate four finalists from each the AFC and NFC.
The eight finalists will be on the Pro Bowl ballot the players receive, who will select the winner. Players will not be permitted to vote for a candidates from their own team.
The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors show on the Saturday before the Super Bowl and will receive a trophy as well as a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to the charity of his choice.
- Phil Watson