Reasons Why Cam Heyward Pipped Patrick Mahomes for 2023 Walter Payton Man of the Year NFL Honor

Published 02/08/2024, 11:29 PM EST

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Growing up with medical conditions and without a father figure can be challenging for a kid. Having experienced it firsthand, Cam Heyward decided to help kids who lack direction in life, battle medical conditions, or struggle with financial aid. Cam actively assists such underprivileged souls by sending birthday presents, taking them for winter shopping, and even sending them birthday cards.

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“I had a blast doing it last year and I wanted to do it again,” said Heyward. “I had the opportunity to go all over Pittsburgh finding different ways to give back.”

Heyward involved with multiple charities

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In Week 8, Heyward’s NFLPA offered $10,000 to his charity of choice because of his noble endeavors. He is also eligible for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award, which will grant another $100k to the charity of his choice if he gets a unanimous vote from the jury’s 18 community MVPs.

Another thing to note here is that Cam is involved with not one but four other charities. Apart from The Heyward House Foundation, he is involved with Sports Matter, The V Foundation, Man Up Pittsburgh, and the Children’s Hospital for Pittsburgh Foundation.

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Growing up, everyone wanted to visit “The Heyward House” (Cam’s home). Hence, he was inspired to name his charity after it. Around his birthday, he throws a massive party at Dave and Busters for all the kids from elementary to high school.

“Some of these kids never celebrate their birthday,” Heyward said. “Some of them have been separated from their siblings and family in the foster care system. It’s a nice day to focus on kids just being kids. It’s a lot of fun.”

He sported custom cleats in the Week 13 game against the Arizona Cardinals. He worked with an artist called Dez Customs on a Hulk and Magneto piece. In an NFL PE article, he said, “On one of the shoes is the Hulk crushing cancer, and the other shoe is Magneto who is trying to find the cure for cancer.”

These are some of the DL’s philanthropic ventures. Charity is not about competition, and although he beat Patrick Mahomes to the WPMOY award, there hasn’t been an intention to one-up anybody. This may be why Cam Heyward is the right choice for the award.

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What inspired Cam Heyward to pursue The Heyward House?

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Struggling has been second nature to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive lineman, Cam Heyward. He grew up without a father, who sadly died early. Also, as a child, he had been grappling with asthma. Despite the odds against him, he became a bigger person and helped countless unfortunate children ever since he joined the big leagues. This may be why he beat Patrick Mahomes in the Walter Payton Man of the Year race.

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It would only be fair to look at what Cam Heyward has done to achieve such a feat at 34. Though Patrick Mahomes is a well-known philanthropist who demands no competition, the NFL sympathizes with Heyward and chooses him over Mahomes for the reasons we’ve discussed.

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Written by:

Abhinav Prakash

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Shubhankar Adhikari

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