On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award at Super Bowl LI.
The award was created to honor the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. The Award is named after Bart Starr who, in addition to being in the NFL Hall of Fame, was selected as MVP in Super Bowls I and II. Starr is an individual of impeccable character who has served his family and community faithfully through the years and is a role model for athletes and business people alike.
Nominees are gathered from the Public Relations Directors of each NFL team, the past winners of the Bart Starr Award, the Athletes in Action Pro Staff working with NFL teams and Bart Starr. Ballots are sent to each team and voting takes place at the same time as the Pro Bowl selections. The votes are tabulated and the winner is announced at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast.
In 1988, Athletes in Action held its inaugural Super Bowl Breakfast at Super Bowl XXII in San Diego, CA. In 1989, the first Bart Starr Award was presented at the Super Bowl Breakfast. Bart Starr agreed to partner with Athletes in Action to present this award in his name. He is present each year at the Breakfast to personally present the Award to the winner voted on by NFL players.
New England Patriots Wide Receiver, Matthew Slater was chosen by his National Football League peers to receive one of the sport’s most prestigious honors, The Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field.
Matthew Slater's father, Hall of Famer Jackie Slater was a former offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and the 1996 Bart Starr Award winner, making this the first time a father and son have both earned the honor.
Slater received the Bart Starr Award in person at what is widely considered one of Super Bowl weekend’s premier events, the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. Through this honor, Slater will join the list of Bart Starr Award winners that includes Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brent Jones, Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Jason Witten, London Fletcher and Trent Dilfer.