Raiders Linebacker Bruce Irvin nominated for prestigious honor
From the beginning, the late, great owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, committed his organization, its to giving back. Giving back to its local communities and other worthy causes has always been a cornerstone of the Raiders organization and is buried deep in the team’s DNA.
That spirit, established so long ago, continues and this year the Raiders have nominated Bruce Irvin as its nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The award, one of the league’s most prestigious, represents the NFL’s focus on philanthropic and community impact in communities all over America. Irvin was selected as the Raiders Man of the Year, making him eligible to win the national award. The award recognizes an NFL player for their outstanding work in the community off the field as well as performance excellence on the field.
“We are all very proud of Bruce and his work in the community,” said Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio. “Bruce has immersed himself in community initiatives throughout the Bay Area. It is very important to the Raiders to be able to give back and we always encourage our players to look for opportunities to serve. Bruce is a great example of someone being involved and helping to make a difference in their community.”
Irvin has been an impact player for the Oakland Raiders, both on the field and in the community. Irvin is in his second season with the Silver and Black after a four-year stint with the Seattle Seahawks who selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft. The dynamic linebacker’s six forced fumbles last season set a single season franchise mark and tied for the NFL lead.
Bruce has immersed himself in community initiatives throughout the Bay Area. It is very important to the Raiders to be able to give back and we always encourage our players to look for opportunities to serve. – Head Coach Jack Del Rio
Irvin is just as influential off the field. He hosted his Third Annual Bruce Irvin Football Clinic in Charleston, West Virginia, providing the chance for kids in the area to learn from current NFL players. He also supported his current and former teammates’ community initiatives throughout the summer. Irvin was a volunteer coach at Michael Crabtree’s annual youth football camp in Dallas as well as Justin Ellis’ youth football camp in Monroe, Louisiana.
Irvin also participated in former Seattle teammate Michael Robinson’s Charity Weekend in Richmond, Virginia, volunteering as a coach for the youth football camp as well as serving as a celebrity waiter during the charity dinner. A man of his word, he fulfilled a summer Twitter campaign promise of signing every Bruce Irvin jersey fans mailed to him.
Irvin has immersed himself in community outreach in 2017. On his off day, he volunteered with the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry with his teammates, helping distribute food to 157 low income families for a total of 564 people fed, 187 of which were children.
On the heels of a late night, cross country flight following the team’s Sunday Night Football game in Washington, DC, Irvin spearheaded a Monday morning visit to Oakland UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital that included the entire defensive line unit. In a testament to Bruce’s leadership, not a single member missed the trip despite running on just a few hours of sleep.
Irvin also participated in the team’s Crucial Catch community event the Raiders’ Alameda Facility during which players and 15 Breast Cancer survivors and their guests were led through a step-by-step group art lesson to create custom Crucial Catch themed artwork. As part of the NFL’s Unity Campaign, Irvin and two teammates joined 30 members of the Girls Inc. of Alameda County’s Advocating Change Together program and participated in a workshop discussing current events and issues and how to advocate for change in the community.
In response to the devastating wildfires that ravaged much of Napa and Sonoma County, Irvin was a driving force in encouraging his teammates to make financial contributions to help the relief effort for those affected by the fires. Irvin’s donation was used to purchase food, supplies and gift cards for those whose lives were forever impacted by the fire’s destruction.
Starting in Week 14, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy silhouette will appear in uniform elements to further recognize past award winners and current nominees. Irvin will wear a Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season, in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the national award, renamed in 1999 after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. Finalists will be announced in January 2018. The winner will be announced in Minneapolis at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.