The Los Angeles Rams announced today receiver Cooper Kupp as its nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide is the league's most prestigious honor and acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities.
Earlier this season, Kupp joined forces with renowned LA-region chefs and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for the 8th Annual Taste of the Rams event to combat food insecurity in Los Angeles. The evening raised almost $200,000 to provide essential assistance to families and individuals facing food insecurity in LA County and the funding helped the LA Regional Food Bank distribute hundreds of thousands of nutritious meals across LA County. It was the fourth consecutive year Kupp partnered with the LA Regional Food Bank and served as the event's Honorary Chair. He also has made donations to purchase more than 84,000 meals for food banks in the Yakima and Richland areas of Washington, the LA Regional Food Bank, and Food Share Ventura County.
In addition to his efforts combating hunger, Kupp "adopted" a local high school football team this season and is mentoring their players and coaches to inspire and help instill a winning culture for a team that's struggled to build a winning program over the last several years. To kick off the initiative, Kupp visited the Royal High School Football team and met the players and coaches, toured their facilities, and led the team in an extensive film session covering one of their games. The following month, Kupp invited the entire team to the Rams practice facility and served as a coach/mentor while the team practiced on the Rams' practice fields. He worked with Nike to provide the entire team with t-shirts and shorts along with a post-practice meal provided by El Torito. Kupp also invited players and coaches on the team to the Rams-Cardinals matchup at SoFi Stadium. Last month ahead of Thanksgiving, Kupp volunteered alongside the Royal High football team at a local food drive and gifted all players with brand new uniforms.
During the offseason, Kupp hosted a free youth football camp for more than 125 youth and funded buses to transport Lincoln Rams youth football players from Boyle Heights. He has also supported efforts to combat chronic absenteeism in partnership with Nike by rewarding academic achievements for students at local schools. Kupp has purchased clothes to reward Inglewood Unified School District students who maintain strong attendance, participation, and engagement in school and has provided 23 student-families identified by Inglewood Unified School District with clothes for the school year.
Kupp was nominated as the team's Salute to Service Award honoree earlier this year for his continued support of the club's military appreciation efforts. This year, he represented the Gary Sinese Foundation during My Cause, My Cleats and is selling custom merchandise on cooperkupp.com to benefit the Gary Sinese Foundation. Kupp and his wife, Anna, have also sold personalized merchandise and donated proceeds to Team Rubicon to benefit vets looking for work and provide aide for disaster relief.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been named the Rams' 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his involvement in the LA community. Take a look at how his family & community partners surprised him with the news of his nomination for the award presented by Nationwide.
"My family and I are honored to be nominated alongside just a few of the many players in the NFL family that are doing great work in their respective communities," said Kupp. "Lending a helping hand, recognizing where there are needs, and finding ways to bridge the gap. While I am thankful for the NFL giving us a platform to shine a light on a few of the causes that are important to us, we all have the ability to give of ourselves in one way or another that can change the lives of the people around us."
As a nominee, Kupp will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of their accomplishments on and off the field.
All 32 nominees will be recognized for their achievements during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII. The 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Each nominee will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are made possible by the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 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 the name/X handle of their chosen nominee 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 from Nationwide 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. 5th to Jan. 8th.
In addition, fans can further amplify their support of Kupp by participating in an exciting campaign by Alltroo – an online fundraising platform started by former NFL tight end and 3-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, Kyle Rudolph. Through Alltroo, fans can support Kupp by entering an online fundraiser customized by each player for the chance to win special prizes and experiences, such as meet and greets, game tickets, sideline passes and more. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through Alltroo's campaign will directly support the nominee's non-profit/charity of choice. For more information visit Alltroo.com.
For more information on the nominees and the award, please visit NFL.com/ManOfTheYear.