Lions’ Cabinda named team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions named fullback Jason Cabinda the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee on Tuesday. The prestigious award is given annually for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

“Walter Payton’s legacy embodies so many things,” Cabinda said in a statement. “He was one of the greatest running backs on the field, and he truly looked out for people that didn’t have a voice and gave them a voice. I think within my character, I hope to embody Walter Payton in the sense of wanting to look out for others and wanting to be somebody who gives back and be somebody who remembers their roots and where they came from.

“When you’re in this position, you can have such an impact on these communities,” Cabinda said. “You can have an impact knowing that the person that is standing in front of them is a person that has been in their shoes and has been sitting in their seats.”

Since joining the Lions in 2019, Cabinda has invested his time and efforts into multiple community initiatives, on top of regularly volunteering to participate in the team’s community outreach efforts.

With a goal of helping eliminate childhood illiteracy, he led a summer book drive that provided more than 800 books to Davison Elementary School in Detroit, while participating in weekly virtual reading comprehension sessions with children from the school throughout the pandemic.

Cabinda has also orchestrated a number of food drives, not just in Detroit, but also in Oakland, where he played for the Raiders. In June, he coordinated with first responders in Surfside, Florida to assist families following the traffic collapse of a condominium complex.

Additionally, Cabinda partnered with players around the NFL during the holiday season in 2020 to help provide gifts and food for families in need.

“Guys like Jason Cabinda can change the world,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said in a statement. “He is a man of principle who sets such a positive example for our entire locker room. Since the day I met him, he has embodied what it means to be a leader on and off the field. With our platform in today’s NFL, it is our duty to help lift up the lives of others, and Jason carries this responsibility with dignity and honor.”

As a nominee, Cabinda will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season. All 32 of the league’s nominees will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice.

The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice.

Lions previous Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees:

2020 — Trey Flowers

2019 — Devon Kennard

2018 — Matthew Stafford

2017 — Haloti Ngata

2016 — Don Carey

2012-15 — Stephen Tullcoh

2009-11 — Drew Stanton

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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