NFL Man Of The Year Nominees |


Andrew Whitworth



Andrew is currently finalizing plans to provide four under-resourced schools with STEAM and/or computer labs as a way to help close the technology gap for low-income students. Through his six-figure financial donation, Andrew knows that he is providing the students a chance at upward mobility. In October, Andrew again chaired the Rams Night for Wishes benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As the chair person, he recruited teammates to join him and helped to raise more than $400,000 to grant wishes for children battling life-threatening diseases. During the event, he participated in a wish reveal for a 7-year old boy, who is battling cancer, and surprised him with the announcement that he was being granted his wish to go to Disney World. In May, Andrew served as a team captain for United Way of Greater Los Angeles' HomeWalk, the nation's largest fundraiser to end homelessness and help individuals and families secure the safety and stability of a home. Living up to his deserving reputation as the ultimate community leader, Whitworth matched the funds raised by Rams fans with a $16,325 donation and he and his family joined fans in the 5k walk. Earlier in the offseason during Read Across America Day, Andrew visited a local elementary school as part of a $20,000 donation to the "First Quarter for Literacy" initiative designed to get books to children in underserved communities. "The greatest thing in life is to be able to invest in the people around you," said team captain and Rams Tackle Andrew Whitworth. "We want to make a difference, change the world, create a better place, and all this starts with our youth. "There are multiple ways that you can invest in kids," said Whitworth as he walked the 112th Street Elementary school campus between classroom visits. "One is reading and showing your face, and the other is the financial aspect and being able to provide the assets they need to help increase their knowledge." Last year, in the wake of a series of tragedies that took place in the Southern California region, the team captain donated a game check to the families of the victims of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill and hosted families in a suite for the Rams Monday Night Football game. He also auctioned off his game-worn jersey to raise money for families affected by the shooting and the wildfires that displaced many across the region. Andrew continues to support various military and veteran efforts and has a particularly strong relationship with Merging Vets and Players. Andrew also purchases 50 tickets for every Rams home game and donates them to local charities and schools.

Since joining the Rams in 2017,Andrew has become the ultimate community champion assisting with various community efforts ranging from education to youth health to homelessness – Los Angeles' most defining issue. During his first season in Los Angeles in 2017, Whitworth purchased new bikes and helmets for all 600 students at an elementary school in Watts, one of Los Angeles' highest-need communities. As part of the holiday visit to the school, he spoke to the students about displaying good character and then led them in a character pledge before surprising them with the new bikes and helmets. Whitworth also regularly participates in PLAY 60 Character Camps and has participated in Taste of the Rams, an event to raise money for the Los Angeles Area Food Bank. Aside from his efforts in Los Angeles, Whitworth was also a star both on and off the field in Cleveland during his time with the Bengals. Whitworth also started The Big Whit 77 Foundation, with a mission to impact the lives of youth and families in his home state of Louisiana. One of the foundation's programs, Whit's Warriors, offers financial assistance to high school seniors in Louisiana. The program has awarded $400,000 in scholarships and school supplies. Another program of the foundation is called Open Arms, which is one of the only programs in the state of Louisiana that offers financial assistance to families in the process of adoption. The Whitworths launched Open Arms with a belief that families, who have the desire to adopt, are not turned away due to overwhelming costs. The most recent program developed by The Big Whit 77 Foundation is the annual Wish List event, which pairs college athletes from ULM and Louisiana Tech with local families for fellowship and fun during the Christmas season.

Some people lead by example, which Andrew does, but as the Ram's team captain, he is also willing to use his leadership position to encourage his teammates to give back to others. The morning after last year's Borderline Grill mass shooting that resulted in the death of 13 people, Andrew asked Coach McVay for the opportunity to address his teammates during their team meeting. He spoke to them about the importance of being involved in their community and said, "you will never regret helping another person." Andrew has been named a captain by his teammates all three of his seasons with the Rams and was a team captain in eight of his 11 years with the Bengals.

A four-time Pro-Bowler and two time All-Pro, Andrew is a 14-year veteran who has competed in 208 regular season games with 204 starts including 10 postseason starts. After a win over his former team, the Bengals, this year, Andrew became the 12th starter in the modern era of the NFL with victories over all 32 teams. Playing one of the most physically demanding positions in football, the left tackle has recorded three seasons with allowing only 1.0 sack or less (2007, 2014 and 2016). He has also registered nine seasons (2006-2007, 2009, 2011-2015, 2018) in which his pass blocking has produced a 1,000 yard receiver. He has also registered six seasons in which he blocked for three different 1,000-yard rushers (R.Johnson: 2006, C.Benson: 2009-2011, B.Green-Ellis: 2012, T. Gurley: 2017-18).

"I've been blessed to play in this league for 14 years and to be a part of some really good seasons," said Whitworth. "But making a difference in someone's life will go beyond football any day of the week. It's not just about the game, it's about the opportunity to bring people together. When I look back and think about my NFL career, the time spent out in the community giving back to people in need will always be the most touching to me."

"Andrew has continuously gone above and beyond to serve the greater Los Angeles community since joining the Rams in 2017. While there are many exceptional NFL players doing meaningful community work, Andrew's unparalleled compassion, the depth of his impact, breadth of his involvement and career longevity puts him in a league of his own. He is an exceptional steward for the Rams and the NFL, and a shining example of a professional athlete who understands and appreciates his opportunity to make a difference − and then makes a difference on a daily basis through both his actions and leadership in the locker room. I had the pleasure of working with last year's NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, Chris Long, and Andrew Whitworth is equally as incredible. -Molly Higgins, Rams Vice President of Community Affairs and Engagement

"His leadership has been invaluable, and in a lot of instances, I've learned from him. He's been a great sounding board for me. As a guy that has played so long, he's got such great wisdom and he also has a great perspective on things. I think that has been invaluable, really, for our team. He really just looks over his teammates. He can still play at a high level. He's been outstanding. He's been one of the key parts of why this thing has gone the way it has the last three years." - Sean McVay, Rams Head Coach