CHARLOTTE – Wide receiver DJ Moore is Carolina's 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, presented by Nationwide. The annual league-wide award recognizes outstanding community service as well as excellence on the field.
Through the work of his Moore2Life Foundation, Moore supports at-risk youth and families in need through resource distribution, educational advancement, and mentorship-based programming. Growing up with a single mom in the heart of Philadelphia, Moore witnessed gun shots, sirens, and violence on a regular basis. Through the eyes of his young daughter, Ari, Moore intends to change that viewpoint and show the importance of giving back.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to restrict engagement with the community, Moore was able to give back in his focus areas of Charlotte and Philadelphia this past year.
In May of 2021, 255 students at Hawthorne Academy, a high-needs school in Charlotte, were provided food security and new backpacks. In early July, DJ headed back to Philly for a free youth football camp impacting 100 underserved children in the local community. The football camp provided over $30,000 of in-kind support, gifts, food, and equipment. This event was then replicated later in July in Charlotte for another 100 at-risk youth. At the conclusion of each football camp, participants in the program received a new bicycle. He plans to end the year with a Holiday Shopping Spree for single moms.
Since joining the NFL in 2018, Moore has used his platform to serve others through an annual roster of programs which target high-needs youth and families.
His annual efforts include school supplies, Thanksgiving meal and holiday toy distributions. As a new father, Moore has broadened his focus areas as his family priorities have provided him a new perspective through the eyes of his daughter. He continues to embrace the responsibility and special opportunity that being an NFL player provides to make a difference and use his platform to affect positive change.
Moore is a dedicated father to his daughter, Arielle Melody Moore, and has been influenced by his special relationship with his mother, Cookie Moore.
"Growing up in Philadelphia and seeing people give back to try to make a difference, and then having my daughter Ari, really inspired me to give back too," Moore said. "Through my foundation, I want to try to change things for other people so that they don't have to experience some of the things that I experienced. I'm thankful for the opportunities I have to give back to the communities in both Charlotte and my hometown, and to be nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is an amazing honor."
As a nominee, Moore will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
"The Carolina Panthers are pleased to recognize DJ Moore as the team's 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee," said Riley Fields, director of community relations for the Carolina Panthers. "DJ is committed to using his platform to serve the needs of youth and families both in the Carolinas and his hometown of Philadelphia. On the field, he's a rising young star in the NFL, and off the field, his work is certainly deserving of this recognition."
For the fourth year in a row, all 32 team winners will be highlighted as nominees and recognized for their important work during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVI. The 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally the week of Super Bowl LVI.
All 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 7th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear.