Midfielder Anthony Barr was named a Vikings nominee for Walter Payton’s NFL Man of the Year on Tuesday.
Barr was selected first in the draft after Mike Zimmer took over as Minnesota coach in 2014, picking No. 9 in the first round from UCLA. Since joining the NFL, Barr has been very active in the Sister Cities community and his hometown of Los Angeles with the Raise the Barr program, which helps increase the economic mobility of single students. It was founded in 2016 by Barr and his mother, Laurie Barr, who raised their son as a single mother.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, and I’m humble, but that’s not why I do what I do,” Barr said. “Being awarded Walter Payton’s Person of the Year makes me strive even harder and achieve more as we know the work is far from complete. My mother is proud of this, and I am grateful to her, because it was she who pushed me to be more active and present in society. ”
32 NFL teams each nominated one player for the Person of the Year award, and the winner will be announced on February 10, 2022 at the NFL Awards Ceremony in Inglewood, California, three days before the LVI Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.
“Anthony has consistently represented the best Minnesota Vikings in the community,” said Vikings President Mark Wilf. “His leadership on the team’s social justice committee, his commitment to organizations like the Jeremiah Program, and his investment of time and resources through the Raise the Barr Foundation are inspiring. We are proud to recognize his efforts and to name Anthony our 2021 nominee for this impressive award. ”
For the first time in his eight-year career, Barr has been nominated for this award. Last year, the Vikings’ nominee was midfielder Eric Kendricks, who was Barr’s roommate at UCLA and joined the team in 2015.