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Harrison Phillips named Bills’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee

Harrison Phillips has been selected as the Bills nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL announced Thursday.

The award, named for the late Hall of Fame running back of the Chicago Bears, recognizes players for their commitment to philanthropy and community impact. Nominees are selected from each of the NFL’s 32 teams, all of whom receive up to $40,000 toward a charity of their choice.

The winning player receives $250,000 toward their selected charity.

“I have always been a firm believer in paying it forward,” Phillips said. “I was blessed with a fantastic village of people who poured into me as I grew up and helped me get to where I am today. I am passionate about playing a positive role in being a part of others’ villages – to help better their lives and in turn, making our communities a greater place to live.”

Phillips was active in his responses to the many challenges of 2020. Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, he donated $10,000 worth of meals to healthcare workers. He worked with the healthcare system in his hometown Omaha, Nebraska to produce videos encouraging the use of personal protective equipment and stayed connected with pediatric patients via virtual hospital visits.

The defensive tackle also continued to affect positive change through his Playmakers Organization, which supports children with intellectual disabilities. Phillips encouraged the athletes in the program to follow his lead with acts of kindness and called for them to share photos displaying healthy habits.