Bethea named Colts' Man of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea is known as one of the team’s leaders on defense.

What Bethea does off the field is just as important, and that's why he was honored for it Monday when he was named the Colts Man of the Year. Bethea is now in the running for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which recognizes a player’s community service and leadership.

“Just want to say I’m really honored to be chosen as the Colts Man of The Year,” Bethea said. “There’s a lot of guys in this locker room and in this organization that do a lot for the community and for this organization, so for me to be named, it’s most definitely an honor and a blessing to be in a position to give back to help people that are less fortunate.”

Bethea started the Safe Coverage Foundation, which provides resources to help students get a higher education, after he received his degree from Howard University in 2011. He also hosts tours at Howard and George Mason University for 50 inner-city high school students from his hometown of Newport News, Va., every year.

Bethea donates 15 tickets and food vouchers to each Colts home game to underserved youth in Indiana. He also has two free football camps -- one each in Indianapolis and Newport News -- every year.

“One of these awards that I’ll hold close to my heart,” Bethea said. “The values that I’ve been taught growing up, it’s not always about receiving but giving back. Like I said before, for people that’s less fortunate that I can give a helping hand to, and the stage that we’re on as football players, people looking up to us. It’s just something that I always said I would do if I get in a position that I can give back.”