With 189 consecutive starts, Brandon Carr is leaving a legacy as one of the most durable defensive backs in NFL history.
However, Carr is also doing important work beyond football as a selfless person who uses his platform to impact lives. Carr has been named the Ravens' Walter Payton Man of the Year, presented by Nationwide, nominee for 2019.
It's the third time in his career that Carr has been his team's recipient. He was the Ravens' nominee for the national award in 2018, and in 2015 when he played with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year award recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field. The award was established in 1970 and was renamed in 1999 after the late Chicago Bears running back. Each team announces one winner of the award, and as the Ravens' winner, Carr will be eligible to win the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which will be revealed at NFL Honors the night before the Super Bowl.
The winner of the award receives $250,000 donated to the United Way, and up to $250,000 donated to the winner's charity of choice. As the Ravens' recipient, Carr receives $50,000 to be donated to the charity of his choice.
"This is a true honor," Carr said. "This is nothing but a reflection of my upbringing. I love playing this game, but I also love the platform that it gives us as athletes do something positive. I know all of us have passions, we do amazing things in the community. It's not about me. It's about us, the Ravens organization and all that we do for the Baltimore community and your community that supports you.
"This is for the Carr Cares Foundation. This is for us. We've got more work to do. Let's continue to rock this world."
Last week, Carr won the Ed Block Courage Award, voted on exclusively by the players on each team. It is presented to the player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage, while also recognizing a player's efforts on the field and his ability to overcome adversity.
Since Carr entered the NFL in 2008, the 33-year-old defensive back has dressed for every game. Whatever adversity he was going through, whichever team he was playing for, Carr has never taken a game off. His consecutive starts streak is the longest active streak among NFL defensive players, a testimony to his dedication. This season, Carr has played both cornerback and safety and his versatility as a steady presence in the secondary has helped the Ravens (11-2) win nine straight games.
Off the field, Carr leads the Carr Cares Foundation, founded in 2012 to improve child literacy around the country. This year, Carr launched the LitBuddies program at Glenmount Elementary School in northeast Baltimore. The boxes will be filled with books and educational games for elementary school-aged kids. More than 100 boxes will be distributed to students in the Baltimore area and will be available for purchase for customers nationwide.
Along with literacy initiatives, the foundation encourages children to lead healthy lifestyles through nutrition and physical fitness. Carr has opened reading centers in his hometown of Flint, Mich. and he is extremely active in social initiatives around Baltimore.
Carr is also extremely dedicated to breast cancer awareness after losing his mother, Kathy, to the disease in 2014. This season, Carr is donating $12,500 per game ($200,000 total) to fund free screenings and diagnostic mammograms through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.