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Jaguars Nominate Christian Kirk for the 2022 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

The award recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
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The NFL announced today that the 32-player nominees for the ninth annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award had been finalized, Each team has one candidate up for consideration, with the finalists being selected by a panel of former players.

Legends Larry Fitzgerald, Curtis Martin, Warrick Dunn, and Leonard Wheeler will select eight finalists (four from each conference), who will subsequently be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote in December.

“These Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees exemplify the fiercest competition combined with the excellence of sportsmanship,” said Troy Vincent, EVP of Football Operations of the NFL. “It reflects the very values of respect, resilience, and fairness that inspire both teammates and opponents to be the best in the world.”

The Jaguars' nomination of Christian Kirk shows the massive impact the veteran has had both on and off the field in his short time in Duval County. The award calls for an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. Kirk embodies all these traits through his team-first approach and high level of confidence.

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“I think number one, just the type of people we have in this building, in this locker room, on our staff,” Kirk said when asked about what stands out to him in Jacksonville. “These guys are resilient. “Doug says it best, we’re all hand-picked to be here. You see the commonalities between everybody. High character guys, guys that go out and play for one another, tough, smart football players. When you bring around the same kind of guy you’re kind of looking for, you know you’re building something special. 

"I know right now the season hasn’t really gone the way we want it to, but you don’t really feel anybody giving up or kind of cashing it in, everybody’s still looking forward to what’s in front of us, and those are the type of people you want to be around, you want to go to work with, because it is a long season. The NFL is hard. It’s hard to win football games, but we’re here to produce championship-level football. It’s all about leaving that we can be the best. I think that’s my favorite part so far about being here is just being a part of a special group.”

For the Jaguars, the players are noticing the effects that Christian Kirk’s leadership has both on and off the field. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence made clear following the loss to the Chiefs, that Kirk has been a valuable commodity for this young team.

“He’s been awesome,” Lawrence said earlier this season. “I think the way that we communicate, the way he communicates with me when he sees things whether that’s in practice, during the week in our prep for whoever, or if it’s during the game. There was some pressure stuff today where it was all about me and him being on the same page. You see a lot of those big conversions and those quick throws that we have because I know how he’s going to be and how he’s going to react based on the look. 

“We’re building on that and I think it’s really clicking right now. It’s something we have to build on. I feel like I’m getting there with all of our guys too. I feel in that aspect, we’re in a really good place. We just have to keep building on that and doing that because that’s really important.”