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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Commanders |


Washington Commanders

leno 1

Charles Leno Jr.


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Offensive Tackle Boise State 9

Excellence on the Field:

Charles Leno Jr. is a veteran of nine NFL seasons and is in his third with the Washington Commanders. Over his career, Leno has played in 127 games and while Charles has found personal success on the field, he steadfastly highlights the importance of charitable investment and involvement in the communities in which he lives. Charles has a robust philanthropic history, including the launch of his own foundation in 2020 with his wife Jennifer, Beyond the Entertainer. The foundation's main mission is to mentor, empower, and inspire the community of all ages, to pay it forward. Upon his arrival to Washington D.C. a few years ago, he has immersed himself in the DMV community bringing people together and serving as an ambassador for the Commanders and the game of football.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

For his selfless contributions on and off the field, in addition to the grace and poise he has shown within the community, Charles Leno Jr. has emerged as a leader of the Commanders. He is 100% dedicated to his role and job and actions speak louder than words – which his o-line follows. The initiatives that Charles and his foundation contribute to, run deeper than simply giving back as a football player, but as someone with a platform, Charles hopes to leave a legacy well beyond his on-field efforts. "In life I believe you are not defined by what you accomplish, but by what you do for other," he said, "Sometimes I try to think, 'Charles, are you a football player or are you just someone who plays football?' I just play football. Because one day I won't be a football player anymore. I'll just be someone who played football. So, what do I want people to remember me for other than being a football player?" For those his actions speaker louder than words and it shows on and off the field.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

In each city Charles has played (Oakland, Chicago and now Washington D.C), Charles' community efforts have followed him. In 2020, through his foundation, Charles and Jennifer created Leno Claus after the birth of their first child and watching previews for the 25-day countdown to Christmas on television and the unique way different companies and charities approached the countdown. This inspired them to create their own version of a Christmas Countdown, which resulted in the creation of Leno Claus. From Dec. 1st to Dec. 20th of each year, Beyond the Entertainer partners with 20 different organizations and along with monetary donations, Leno Claus plays an active role in donating holiday gifts, stocking stores and giving away items to make sure that organizations they have partnered with can provide the greatest holiday experience for their members. "It's something I'm very passionate about, something I love to do," Charles said. "When I got to the league, I was told to always pay it forward."

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

Charles draws on his own personal experiences and the fortunate life he leads as an NFL player to invest in areas that need support. "The goal of our organization, it comes down to me being from Oakland, California," he said. "I know being out there, a lot of black and brown kids, we feel like the only way out of the situation and environments that we are in is through entertainment. Whether that's being an athlete, being a musician -- whatever type of entertainment, they see that the most. But we want to shed some light on this part 'beyond the entertainer.' So, for example, for myself, me being an athlete, there are so many things that make up an athlete. You can be in public relations, athletic training, coaching, GM, financial advising, agent -- there are so many things that make up an athlete. So, if you want to be a part of that, you can still have that access to the athlete or the entertainment aspect. You know the chances of you making it professionally honestly are very slim, but there's always opportunities to be around it and if you're really passionate about it, still be involved." Charles is so deserving of his nomination and the Washington Commanders are proud to select Charles Leno Jr. as their 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.