Quarterback Eli Manning has been selected as the winner of the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr award from a group of ten nominees and joins his brother Peyton as recipients of the award.
The 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr award defines its ideal candidate as a “player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community,” and Eli Manning is the epitome of all of that.
The award is voted on by other NFL players and Manning will join his brother, Calais Campbell, Benjamin Watson, Anthony Muñoz, Derrick Brooks and Drew Brees as players who have won the award.
“Manning is a top-notch player who is truly making a difference in the world, and we are thrilled to recognize his effort and good work,” said Terry Bortz, the Super Bowl Breakfast director, which is the event the award will be presented at on Feb. 1st, 2020, the day before the Super Bowl.
Eli has been known for his charitable efforts through his building of “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinics” at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Mississippi. He has also supported the Tackle Kids Cancer Initiative, March of Dimes, the American Red Cross and the PeyBack Foundation. He came to love charitable activities after attending his father Archie’s golf tournament for cystic fibrosis and “the joy he got out of doing it.”
Manning will be the first player to win the award since Bart Starr’s death on May 26th, 2019, which brings extra meaning to the event overall. “Bart Starr left the NFL with an incredible legacy of kindness, humility, charity, and compassion. Though many fans may not recognize his name today, most players know exactly who he is because of his impressive record on and off the field,” said Bortz.
This is Manning’s second major charitable award after co-winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2016 with Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
While this will probably never end the hate on Manning by certain fanbases, Giants fans will be forever grateful for his actions both on the field and in the community. In his likely last season with the Giants, this award is a nice touch on Manning’s career.