H 67° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 67° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    Cloudy. H 67° L 36°
  • cloudy-day
    Partly Cloudy. H 48° L 29°

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00


Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00


Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

Bennett, Jenkins, Stills among NFL Man of Year nominees

The NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award honors a man's involvement in the community and performance on the playing field.

In this season marked by kneeling during the national anthem by some players as they protest social injustice, three of those demonstrators are on the list of 32 nominees announced Thursday.

Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins, and Miami wide receiver Kenny Stills often have been in the spotlight for their actions and words.

Their teammates who selected them as candidates for one of the league's most prestigious honors appear to be showing support for that trio's advocacy as well as for those players' contributions on and off the field.

"I think the nomination comes from everything that has been going on, from having the courage we had last year to sit out for something we felt strongly about," Stills says.

"And then all the work we've done here in the community, trying to bridge the gap between the community and the police. And the everyday work we're doing trying to better the city of Miami and our country."

Stills felt no surprise that Bennett and Jenkins also were nominated.

"I think our teammates see the commitment and passion from us," he adds. "It is hard not to recognize guys who are so committed to trying to help others. That's all it's about. I've been given an opportunity and platform to shine light and positivity on other people. I think guys around the league are being recognized for that."

Stills, Jenkins and Bennett have been targets of heavy criticism from outside the league for their protests, which they believe have been misconstrued as unpatriotic, as being against the anthem, flag and military.

That's not the message at all, Jenkins says.

"It has been my goal for the past two years to raise awareness about some important social injustices that plague our country," he says.

"The people who have been unjustly disenfranchised by our criminal justice system and the people who daily fight for them always have, and always will be, the inspiration and focus of my efforts.

"I'm proud of what my peers and I have been able to accomplish by using the platform we have these last two years. I'm proud to be part of a group of men who are standing up because we can help others. I'm proud of the men who may now disagree with me and our direction, but still played a significant role in getting results through our actions."

Being nominated for the Walter Payton Award hardly was on their minds when they took such action.

Whether they make the list of finalists to be announced in January, Stills, Jenkins and Bennett plan to continue on the same path.

There's been progress, they explain, including the NFL's recent establishment of an advocacy program within communities across the land. And when they get into those communities, the players recognize the value of their work.

Indeed, as Bennett says, they are being enriched, too.

"I think there's always that thing where you come in and you go, 'How much more can you do? How much more can you give?'" he says.

"For me, it's about if I want people to do stuff, then you have to be that type of example when it comes to giving back. If you want to lead people you have to be in the grass with them. For me, it's about doing that organic leadership.

"There was no particular event that made me do this. I just kind of always had a passion for people and a belief in people. To be able to use this platform for that is great."

A selection panel will be asked to vote for players based on involvement in the community and performance on the playing field. Finalists are announced in January during halftime of the AFC championship game.

The winner will be revealed at NFL Honors, when The Associated Press announces its individual award winners, on the night before the Super Bowl.

The panel consists of Commissioner Roger Goodell; NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson; Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, who won the award in 2006; last year's winners, Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning; representatives from NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN; two national sports writers; Connie Payton, Walter's widow; Brian Gallagher, the CEO of United Way Worldwide; and Terrance Williams, the CMO of Nationwide, which is the presenting sponsor of the award.

The nominees:

Arizona Cardinals — Patrick Peterson

Atlanta Falcons — Ben Garland

Baltimore Ravens — Benjamin Watson

Buffalo Bills — Lorenzo Alexander

Carolina Panthers — Greg Olsen

Chicago Bears — Sam Acho

Cincinnati Bengals — Michael Johnson

Cleveland Browns — Randall Telfer

Dallas Cowboys — Travis Frederick

Denver Broncos — Chris Harris Jr.

Detroit Lions — Haloti Ngata

Green Bay Packers — Clay Matthews

Houston Texans — J.J. Watt

Indianapolis Colts — Darius Butler

Jacksonville Jaguars — Malik Jackson

Kansas City Chiefs — Alex Smith

Los Angeles Chargers — Casey Hayward

Los Angeles Rams — Rodger Saffold

Miami Dolphins — Kenny Stills

Minnesota Vikings — Kyle Rudolph

New England Patriots — Nate Solder

New Orleans Saints — Cameron Jordan

New York Giants — Mark Herzlich

New York Jets — Quincy Enunwa

Oakland Raiders — Bruce Irvin

Philadelphia Eagles — Malcolm Jenkins

Pittsburgh Steelers — Cameron Heyward

San Francisco 49ers — Bradley Pinion

Seattle Seahawks — Michael Bennett

Tennessee Titans — Wesley Woodyard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Clinton McDonald

Washington Redskins — Nick Sundberg


AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi and Sports Writers Steven Wine and Tim Booth contributed.


For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • 32-year-old Joseph Womble is serving an 11-year sentence for first-degree robbery. Womble says conditions at a state prison violated his constitutional rights. The inmate says that the ice machine and water fountain in his unit stopped working and that water from his cell sink was contaminated and made him sick. He also alleges that temperatures in his cell at the Mack Alford Correctional Center, in Stringtown, exceeded 90 degrees 15 times in June 2016, causing him to become dehydrated. A federal judge in Muskogee dismissed the lawsuit, but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it in a decision on Tuesday.
  • An employee of a gun range in Texas accidentally shot and killed a patron as he worked on a rifle Tuesday morning, police said.  The patron, Joshua Luke Cummings, 36, of Cypress, had just exited his vehicle in the parking lot of Hot Wells Gun Range when a bullet struck him in the head, KTRK in Houston reported. He was flown to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where he died.Harris County Sheriff’s Office officials told the news station that an employee was working on a hunting rifle inside the building when it accidentally discharged. “The bullet went through the wall of the small range house and struck a patron who was walking through the parking lot,” Harris County Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland told the news station.  It was not immediately clear why the rifle was loaded while the employee handled it. KTKR reported that homicide investigators were looking into whether it was human error or a gun malfunction that caused the gun to fire.  Cummings’ Facebook page shows that he was the father of three young children. Heartbroken friends said the Cummings children are triplets. A YouCaring fundraiser page was established to help his wife, Kathleen, and their children. As of noon Wednesday, the page had raised nearly $10,000 of the $25,000 goal.  “Josh Cummings has always been an amazing father, faithful, hardworking husband completely devoted to his faith, family and friends,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “Until we meet again, goodbye, our sweet friend.” Hot Wells officials apologized in a statement that they said would be brief because they “simply do not have the words to express the sorrow in (their) hearts.” “For 44 years, we have operated this facility accident-free, yet today, we are shaken by tragedy,” the statement read.  They said that they would have no comment on the details of the accident while the investigation was ongoing.  “We understand that this accident has, and will continue to affect the lives of many,” the statement read. “We ask that our community joins us in prayer for the healing of all parties involved.”
  • Japan’s recent decision to up its patrols in response to rising appearances ofimplies there might be a serious problem with North Korea’s food supply. >> Read more trending newsThe Guardian reports that at least 28 North Korean boats washed ashore or were found adrift in Japanese waters, the result of North Korean fishermen’s decision to push farther and farther out to sea to make bigger catches for their military, citizens and exports to China. Several of the vessels found were “ghost ships,” labeled as such when found with either a dead or missing crew. Though the number of stray vessels found in Japan this year is consistent with last year’s number, some have expressed concern for the high number of ships found in November compared to the number found last November. The Washington Post offered possible explanations for the spike in appearances, including food shortages which may be the result of tougher sanctions recently passed against the country. “North Korean fishermen have to work harder than ever before, and they have to go farther out into the sea, but they don’t have new boats,” said Atsuhito Isozaki, associate professor of North Korean studies at Keio University in Tokyo. “Plus, North Korea doesn’t have enough gasoline anymore, so they’re running out of fuel.” The concerning state of North Koreans’ food supply was highlighted last month following the dramatic rescue of a North Korean soldier who defected while on duty. Oh Chong Song abandoned his post in November and began to run toward South Korea. He was shot at more than 40 times by his fellow soldiers, and at least five bullets hit him. South Korean soldiers were able to crawl to the area where he lay and he was transportedto a hospital by a United Nations Command helicopter. While rushing to save his life, trauma surgeon Lee Cook-Jong discovered parasitic worms, some were over 10 inches long, in the soldier’s digestive tract. The worms, which have been discovered in other defectors, indicated the use of a detrimental, government-backed approach to health and agriculture in the country: night soil. “Night soil” is a fertilizer made up of human excrement and used by North Korean farmers. There is a perception in the country that night soil makes food taste better and the method has even been personally supported by dictator Kim Jong-Un. The five-hour surgery consisted of removing a bullet, fixing a number of wounds caused by the bullet and removing the parasitic worms that were making their way out of Oh Chong Song’s body. “In my over 20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Cook-Jong later said of the flesh-colored parasites he found.
  • Don’t accuse men of overreacting when they’re sick —, according to a new study. Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine with the Memorial University of Newfoundland, published an article in the British Medical Journal, contending that men seem to experience worse symptoms of cold an flu than women. >> Related: 7 ways to prevent your child from getting the flu this season Sue’s study also noted that U.S. research showed men had higher rates of deaths linked to flu compared to women of the same age. “I do think that the research does point towards men having a weaker immune response when it comes to common viral respiratory infections and the flu,” Sue told The Guardian. “This is shown in the fact that they [have] worse symptoms, they last longer, they are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it.” In Ohio, for example, the flu seems to be impacting populations earlier than usual this year. The Ohio Department of Health said the state is above the five-year average for the number of cases reported at this time of year and “significantly higher” than the same time last year.