Running back Derrick Henry’s importance to the Tennessee Titans has been well-documented, but his value to the Nashville community is often overlooked.
Henry was recognized on Tuesday morning for his everything he does off the field as the Titans announced the 27-year-old tailback was their nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which is given annually to recognize an NFL player for “commitment to philanthropy and community impact.”
Henry is one of 32 finalists for the award with the winner being announced during the NFL Honors ceremony, which will air on Feb. 13 on ABC — four days before the Super Bowl.
Each team finalist will get a $40,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice. The winner of the NFL award will get a $250,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice.
“I am proud of the work our players do in the community and appreciate the opportunity to highlight that work,” Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said. “Derrick has a passion for making a difference for those who are in need and the young people in our community. His leadership on and off the field is a great example of what it means to be a professional football player.”
Henry’s 2021 community work and charitable efforts included:
- A $10,000 donation from his Two All Foundation to Jeremy Taylor, a Nashville firefighter who lost his family home and all their belongings in a fire. Taylor, a Titans season ticket holder, was surprised at his fire station with a $15,000 donation -- $10,000 from Henry's 'Two All' Foundation, along with a $5,000 contribution from Campbell's Chunky Soup
- A $20,000 donation to CORE Response to support their relief efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in August
- A donation of school supplies, backpacks, and bicycles for 200 kids for a back-to-school event in his hometown of Yulee, Florida through his Two All Foundation. It’s the fourth straight year Henry has hosted the event.
- Working with the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee to host a back-to-school event through his Two All Foundation. Through Foundation sponsors and personal donations from Henry, they were able to meet B&GC’s goal of providing 5,000 backpacks full of school supplies to children in need, including $50 gift cards to Burlington for 25 children the club identified as the most in-need. Henry also hosted these 25 kids for an in-person, back-to-school shopping day with additional $100 gift cards, reflecting on how he grew up in a boys & girls club and went on to achieve great things. Henry hosted similar events in 2018 and 2019, even one shopping event for Metro Nashville Public School teachers in 2019
"The Walter Payton Man of the Year is a special honor and I'm truly humbled to be the Titans' nominee," Henry said in a release. "Helping others in need is something I hold close to my heart, and I'm fortunate to be able to help level the playing field for today's youth through my foundation, the Two All Foundation. It is a blessing to be a blessing."