SAN FRANCISCO -- Anquan Boldin was awarded the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Saturday night for his charitable works off the field as well as his play on the field.
As such, a $55,000 donation in his name will be made to the charity of his choice.
"This award means a lot,” Boldin said. “It’s definitely an honor for me to be honored in this way. I think it’s an award that all of the guys in the NFL relate to, but I think I speak for myself when I speak for the guys that were nominated with me, we don’t do it for awards or the accolades. We really do it because we truly believe in what we’re doing and it’s in our hearts.”
Boldin formed his foundation in 2004 with "a mission to expand the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged youth."
According to the press release announcing the award, the foundation offers a summer enrichment program, Thanksgiving food drives offering 300 meals annually and holiday shopping sprees. Last fall, it awarded $10,000 academic scholarships to five students for college, and has awarded 13 four-year scholarships since its inception.
Boldin, a three-time Pro Bowler who led the San Francisco 49ers with 69 catches for 789 yards and four touchdowns last season, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
“It definitely ranks right at the top," Boldin said of the award. "For me, football is momentary, but helping people definitely lasts for a lifetime, and honestly, it goes on even after you’re dead and gone.”
Boldin, who won a Super Bowl in Baltimore, turns 35 in October.
"Anquan Boldin's passionate dedication to community service and philanthropic causes demonstrate the high standards of character and conduct that we all strive for in the NFL," commissioner Roger Goodell said in the release. "Anquan stands out among his peers and is well-deserving of this award, but he is part of the overwhelming majority of NFL players who live out the NFL tradition of community service and inspire us all. We are extremely proud of Anquan and grateful for the way he represents the NFL."