San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin has been named the 2014 Byron "Whizzer" White award winner, given annually by the NFL Players Association. It's the top form of recognition of the player who bests serves his team, community and country. We all know how huge Boldin was for the Niners on the field, but he's always had a tremendous amount of impact off of it as well.
From the NFLPA's press release:
Orlando, March 20, 2014 – The NFL Players Association announced today an award of $100,000 to the Anquan Boldin Foundation for winning the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White Award, the highest honor given to a player by the NFLPA. The award is being presented at the annual NFLPA Player Representative meetings in Orlando during the joint session of active and former NFL players and honors the player who serves his team, community and country in the spirit of Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White. The late Supreme Court Justice was a scholar, athlete, patriot, humanitarian and public servant – the personification of the ideal to which professional football players aspire.
The award has been handed out continuously since 1966, and Boldin is the first 49er to be honored with it. He joins past winners such as Bart Starr, Franco Harris, Derrick Thomas and Peyton Manning. Boldin beat out Davin Joseph, Stephen Tulloch, Matthew Slater and Vonta Leach -- all of whom receive $5,000 for their charities for being named finalists.
If you check out the NLFPA press release link, you'll see a couple photos of Boldin holding one of those giant Publisher Clearing House type checks, with his name and a cool 100 racks spelled out on it. Though, as the release notes, the money isn't going into Boldin's pocket, it will support his foundation.
Q81 -- The Anquan Boldin Foundation -- provide a whole host of services from football camps, to free life insurance, holiday meals, dental services and home energy programs.
Checking out that page of services is worth a gander, as it tells about why each is important to Boldin personally. Why would a football player be so interested in providing dental services, for example?
A guy who knows how to run a route and motor his mouth on the field when needed, Anquan Boldin is a good person who cares about others in his community tremendously. We're lucky to have him in the Bay Area for a little while longer.