Earlier, it was announced that Kansas City Chiefs guard Brian Waters was selected as the NFL Man of the Year, following in the footsteps of Willie Lanier, Len Dawson, Derrick Thomas and Will Shields. The Star’s Randy Covitz has the reaction from Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, president Denny Thum and Lanier to Waters winning the award.
“It’s a credit to the great career he has had and specifically to the things he has done off the field,” said Hunt. “It’s very easy as a professional athlete to get focused on yourself and maybe your team’s success, but Brian has chosen to go a different path, which is to think about those who are less fortunate, specifically children, and to find myriad ways to reach out to them and make a difference in their lives.
“It is something as an organization and a family we really encourage in our players. We feel blessed to have had so many of our players recognized by the league for their contributions.”
Lanier saluted Waters and credited the Hunt family’s encouraging players to be a part of the Kansas City community.
“If you came to play there, that was only part of your mission,” Lanier said. “If you didn’t recognize there was a larger mission outside the lines than just playing the game on Sunday, you didn’t fulfill what your expectations were.”
Waters, a four-time Pro Bowler on the field, has impacted the lives of thousands of children both in the Kansas City area and in his native Waxahachie, Texas, through his Brian Waters 54 Foundation.
Since the foundation’s founding in 2004, it has awarded 82 college scholarships to low-income students. His back-to-school program provides backpacks with school supplies, as well as haircuts, uniforms, shoes, immunizations and dental care. In all, the foundation works with more than 20 different agencies. Waters has also served as a spokesperson for numerous NFL and Kansas City Chiefs outreach campaigns
Chiefs president Denny Thum said Waters’ involvement rubs off on his teammates as well.
“What’s amazing about our players … it’s a shame it takes an award like this to be recognized, but Brian has always been a person who never wants any of the limelight or any recognition for these awards, but for him, it is so important, because he has done so much for our community and it’s a great tribute to him,” Thum said.
“When you play here, you don’t only play on the field, but you play for this city and for this community, and Brian has been a great help for our young players in getting involved in the community.”
Well said all the way around.
Congrats, Mr. Waters!