The NFL Players Association has named Steelers captain Cameron Heyward their Community MVP for Week 1 of the 2020 season.
Congrats to @camheyward on being named Week 1 #CommunityMVP for installing his first Little Free Library. The book-sharing boxes provide 24-7 access to literacy for underserved Pittsburgh communities while honoring the legacy in education of his late grandfather. pic.twitter.com/uKwbnz28A1— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 18, 2020
Heywards work in the community is a literacy program for underserved communities around Pittsburgh and is named in honor of his grandparents according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Steelers’ DL Cam Heyward named Week 1 NFLPA Community MVP for installing several Little Free Libraries in underserved communities across the Pittsburgh area. His efforts mark the official launch of the Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy project, which is named after his grandparents.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2020
Heyward is the second recipient of the ward this season as the NFLPA handed out a “Week 0” MVP to Kevin Byard of the Tennessee Titans for his work distributing distance learning kits for needy families in the Nashville community.
The most recent member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the NFLPA community MVP award was Mark Barron in Week 12 of last season. Barron’s recognition came for distributing Thanksgiving turkeys to underprivileged families in Alabama.
By being named a weekly Community MVP, Heyward now becomes eligible for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award which is considered the highest honor the NFLPA can award a player.
To be eligible for the Community MVP award, the following rules and conditions are outlined on the NFLPA website:
Each week during the regular season, we will recognize one active NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to making a positive impact in his community. For being named Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to the player’s foundation or charity of choice. In addition, our new partner Pledge It will set up a crowdfunding campaign where supporters can pledge donations to the player’s cause based on their on-the-field performances during the season. The weekly Community MVP winners will also become eligible for the annual Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
Community MVPs will be selected by a committee of NFLPA staff. Community MVPs will be announced on Friday of each week in order to gain maximum promotional exposure. Each week’s runner-ups will be recognized by name and with a photo and description of their charity work on the following Tuesday in a social media post. Once a player has been named Community MVP, he is not eligible to win again during the same season. Players will vary by positions and by NFL teams.
Players must meet the following criteria to be considered for Community MVP: Charitable/community initiative is organized and led by an individual player and/or his foundation (not an NFL team or sponsor-led initiative). Player should be active with a specific cause or through his foundation. The community/charitable initiative should have taken place within the one-week period (Thursday of the preceding week to Wednesday of the current week) before the Community MVP is announced. Player should have participated in recent community work or held other recent events. From the pool of weekly Community MVPs, a distinguished panel of judges will choose five finalists for the Alan Page Community Award, each of whom will receive an additional $10,000. From those five finalists, the active player membership will vote for the APC Award winner, who will receive $100,000 for his foundation or charity of choice.
The Alan Page Community Award (previously known as the Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award prior to 2018) has been awarded every year since 1967. The award winner has been a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers four times in the award’s 54 years. The most recent award winner was Charlie Batch in 2013. The other three previous winners for the Steelers were Franco Harris in 1982, Rocky Bleier 1975, and Andy Russell in 1973.
Congratulations to Cam Heyward for his recognition of all he does for his community! The Rufus and Judy Jordan Literacy Project is one for several projects of The Heyward House, a charitable foundation founded by Heyward in 2015.
For more information about how to get involved with The Heyward House, visit thecameronheywardfoundation.org for ways to donate or volunteer.