Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was nominated for a second consecutive Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The league’s most prestigious award was established in 1970 and renamed after the late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. The yearly award is given to one of 32 nominees representing each NFL team.
The winner of the award each year receives $250,000 donated to the winner’s charity of choice. All other 31 nominees receive up to $40,000 donated to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Former Seahawk Russell Wilson won the award in 2020. Lockett has a chance to become the second Seahawk to ever win the award. With each and every game Lockett climbs up the Seahawk’s all-time receiving chart. The 2022 team captain is a two-time Pro Bowler and three-time-time AP All-Pro. Lockett ranks second in franchise history with 52 receiving yards, third in receiving yards with 6,903, and third in receptions with 515. His 18 career 100-yard games rank second in franchise history, and his 11,434 combined yards trail only Hall of Famer Steve Largent’s 13, 396 yards.
COMMITMENT TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE
For his all on-field accomplishments Lockett is most proud of his off-field charitable giving which he would rather do in private. The wanting to make a difference in people’s lives was instilled in Lockett’s life when he was growing up in Tulsa Oklahoma.
“Growing up, you want to be able to help in any way you can, that’s just how I’ve always been. Again, it’s not just about money, but I want people to be able to live their best life. I can’t control what they do with the decision making, but I want to be able to try to be there, to be that voice, or to be that friend, or to be that brother, or to be that son, whatever it is to be able to help people live the life that they want to be able to live. We honestly only get one life, and I am not trying to change anybody’s life, I’m just trying to help them do whatever they dream of doing. “Lockett on giving at a young age
The want to make a difference in people’s lives stayed with Lockett during his college days at Kansas State and his NFL career. A deeply religious, compassionate and humble being Lockett is aware of the platform professional athletes have and the difference they can make with their voice and action.
“I understand that there might be people that look up to me, there might be people that are motivated by me, or whatever the case is. I also know that it can change if I say one bad thing or if I do one bad thing. I always try to tell myself, ‘Just be you.’ Regardless of what you say or do, people are going to like it, or they are not going to like it, but at the end of the day, this is your life, and you are not going to be defined by one moment. If other people will define you, don’t define yourself by that. Keep living, keep learning, and keep enjoying this life because at the end of the day, nobody else is going to be able to enjoy it for you if you can’t enjoy it for yourself.”
For Lockett, his charitable contributions are deeply rooted in the biblical ideology of teaching someone to learn how to fish rather than handing them a piece of fish.
“ You don’t want to be a crutch, you just don’t want to give people money and then all of a sudden, they come back asking for more money and more money. Sometimes it’s about being able to put them in touch with the right people, like being able to have those right conversations and being able to learn some of the stuff themselves. Sometimes, it’s just putting them through the doors where they can gather all of the information and they can go and get it all on their own. I think that it is very important for them to be able to learn that and for you to be able to know that as well. Sometimes you can give to somebody, and you will get mad that they don’t do it the way that you think they were supposed to it. It teaches you that you have to learn how to give and then take a step back and not control how they use it or if they even use it the way that you should.
The way that I see stuff is different than the way they see stuff, right? I think it is about being able to find the best way to help them, listening first and seeing what they are trying to accomplish and what they are trying to do. Then being able to help out as much as you can without feeling obligated because this is a choice that you are making by helping somebody. You don’t have to feel an obligation or pressure to try to help somebody or anything like that.”
Tyler Lockett on giving without expectations.
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Lockett’s contributions have made a lasting impact in the Seattle area and his hometown of Tulsa where if we are, to be honest, the United States is just now coming to grips with the atrocities that happened in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
His most recent local act of kindness was teaming up with former teammate Bobby Wagner and paying for all delinquent meal accounts for students in the Renton School District. Other notable contributions included
The launching of a College Scholarship Program, where he selected seven students to receive $34,000 in scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year. Students who were awarded scholarships have since been admitted to Tennessee State University, Wichita State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oral Roberts University, and Tulsa Community College.
This year, Lockett hosted 12 Tulsa Public School students as part of a Job Shadow Program, where he organized an opportunity for the students to participate in a three-day job shadow with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Keller Williams Realty and the Seahawks. Participating students were also awarded a $5,000 scholarship, for a total of $60,000 in scholarships.
Through Lockett’s Youth Sports Leadership Initiative, he identifies youth sports organizations that could excel and benefit from the donation of clothing, funding, and leadership principles. This year, Tyler identified three organizations in Oklahoma that received $21,000 in Adidas uniforms and funding to support their sport.
Partnering with his alma mater’s Kansas State Athletics Department, Lockett provided $10,000 in 2022 to the Kansas State Football Team to implement the Catapult Data Tracking technology. This wearable technology allows teams to track player distance travelled, explosive plays, and load.
In 2021, more than $32,000 worth of clothing, shoes and food were donated by Lockett’s Light It Up Foundation to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.
This year, Lockett donated $6,000 to support Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa’s only nonprofit agency who provides comprehensive intervention and prevention services to men, women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence.
Since 2017, Lockett has hosted annual Youth Football ProCamps in Seattle and Oklahoma. Over the two-day camps, more than 300 youth receive skill training from Lockett and other coaches including instruction, lectures, fundamental football skills, and non-contact games in a high energy, fun, and positive environment.
As a nominee, Lockett will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the weekend leading up to Super Bowl LVII. The 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air the Thursday before Super Bowl LVII, on NBC.