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Calais Campbell is Finalist for 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

DE Calais Campbell
DE Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell is being recognized as a top performer who competes with class.

For the third consecutive year, Campbell has been named one of eight finalists for the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The honor is given annually to a player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr. The finalists were selected by a panel of former players in the NFL Legends Community.

"You try to think about the man who is representing the organization, their teammates and also what they are doing on the football field – the impact they are having," former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, a member of the selection committee, said in a press release. "You want guys who display leadership, who go above and beyond, who think about their teammates before they think about themselves. It is always hard to narrow down the list of individuals for this award."

A five-time Pro Bowler, Campbell is a fierce competitor who rarely loses his poise or commits mental mistakes. He has played in 196 career games with 178 starts since originally being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round (50th overall) in 2008. In those 196 appearances, Campbell has seen an active player-high 9,658 defensive snaps and has only been penalized 35 times (.3%). He's seldom been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct (twice) and has never drawn a flag for taunting.

Campbell is well-known for his philanthropic efforts and was named the 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year, one of the league's most prestigious honors that recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. Campbell's CRC Foundation, named for his late father Charles, is committed to the enhancement of the community through the teaching of critical life skills to young people.

On Monday it was announced that Campbell’s CRC Foundation would donate $125,000 to the CLLCTIVLY COVID-19 Baltimore Micro-Grant Fund, a campaign that will help Black-owned businesses in Baltimore that have been impacted by the pandemic.

"Black-owned business are the backbone of the Baltimore community and provide many essential services that are valued by all of us who are rooting for the success of Charm City," Campbell said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, these Black businesses have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic putting their survival at risk. By partnering with Rockefeller Foundation and CLLCTIVLY, it is my hope that we can not only provide financial relief, but also draw attention to and celebrate these business owners and what their institutions bring to the city of Baltimore."

Campbell is joined as a finalist for the Rooney Award by Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Justin Houston of the Indianapolis Colts, Mathew Slater of the New England Patriots, Teddy Bridgewater of the Carolina Panthers, Lavonte David of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles and former Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk of the San Francisco 49ers.

A vote among NFL players will determine the winner, and players cannot vote for someone on their own team. Last year's winner was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and past winners were Drew Brees, Luke Kuechly, Frank Gore, Charles Woodson and Larry Fitzgerald.

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