San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin was named the 2015-16 Walter Payton Man of the Year on Saturday, the NFL announced. The award is given to the NFL player "who has had a significant positive impact on his community," per NFL.com.
Boldin expressed how much winning the award means to him, per 49ers.com:
"I'm beyond humbled to be selected as the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. I used to dream that I could play like Walter Payton when I was growing up, but he became even more of an inspiration to me as I learned about his legacy as a humanitarian. I commend the other 31 finalists throughout the National Football League who continue to use this platform to influence the lives of others in a positive way. May we continue to open our hearts and make an impact in our communities and throughout this world.”
Boldin's foundation, the Anquan Boldin Foundation, works to offer opportunities to underprivileged children, including programs to help students graduate on time, food drives, holiday shopping sprees and scholarships.
Boldin, 35, is also involved with Oxfam America, advocating for several African countries and helping to raise money to combat the hunger crisis in Ethiopia. And he has served as the honorary chair of the United Way of Central Maryland's Emerging Leaders United program.
On the field, Boldin caught 69 passes for 789 yards and four touchdowns this past season, remaining a productive wideout for the Niners. Boldin's consistency well into his 30s has been impressive, as he's surpassed 750 receiving yards in all but one season in his 13-year career.
It's unclear if Boldin will continue to have a role with the team in the uptempo offense new head coach Chip Kelly will be installing, though Kelly wanted receivers who could also block down the field during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, a role Boldin is more than capable of filling.