Russell and Ciara Wilson Parade
Mike Fiechtner

Sounders owner Russell Wilson named NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

Russell Wilson has long been recognized has one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL.

On Saturday night, the Seahawks quarterback and Sounders FC owner was honored for his tremendous impact off the field, earning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Originally created in 1970, the award is given annually to a player that exemplifies excellence both on the gridiron and in the community. As the Walter Payton Man of the Year, Wilson will receive $250,000 from the NFL for his Why Not You Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to combatting poverty with education.

"The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, to me, represents excellence, not just on the field, but more importantly off the field," Wilson told "In life, we're granted the opportunity to have an impact, no matter what sphere of influence we're around. Walter Payton was one of the greatest examples of what he was able to do not just on the field, but more important off the field to give back and to serve and to love and to care. For me, to be able to be even mentioned with a name like Walter Payton is one of the greatest blessings I could ever have and one of the greatest honors you could ever have."

Wilson and wife Ciara joined the Sounders Family as owners in 2019 alongside a host of prominent families from the Seattle area, strengthening their ties to the community and reinforcing their commitment for using sport as a vehicle for change.

You can learn more about Wilson’s charitable efforts and the Walter Payton award HERE.