It was an emotional night for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, finally seeing six-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award nominee Cam Heyward finally earning the award. Heyward’s charitable efforts benefiting the youth of Pittsburgh are widespread and varied, but if one thing is clear, none of them would be possible without the inspiration of his father, Craig Heyward.
A former NFL player himself, Craig passed away at the age of 39 after a battle with brain cancer, but his son Cam has managed his story and the charitable inspiration very much alive.
Prior to Heyward’s acceptance speech on Thursday night, a video honoring Craig’s legacy and the impact it made on his desire to give back was shared.
As if that wasn’t enough of a kicker to get the tears rolling, Heyward’s acceptance speech took the cake. It was an emotional one, full of thanks for the city of Pittsburgh, the Steelers organization, with a shoutout for his mom in particular, who he cited as instrumental for the work the Cameron Heyward Foundation is able to accomplish in the community.
Watch Cam Heyward’s dedication to his father and acceptance speech for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year below.
"When I talk about my dad, he wore No. 34. He's been with me the entire time. He's been with me every step of the way. But I know there was another No. 34 who was helping me. This man Walter Payton."— NFL (@NFL) February 9, 2024
An emotional #WPMOY speech from @CamHeyward (by @Nationwide) #NFLHonors pic.twitter.com/aalIEyWIOQ