The NFL announced the eight finalists for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, and San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is among the group. The award is presented each year to the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. This is the third consecutive season Staley has been a finalist for the award, which is in its fourth year of existence.
The award comes with all sorts of 49ers connections. Last year, Frank Gore took home the award. This year, Alex Smith and Vernon Davis are also finalists. The remaining five finalists include Joe Thomas, Antonio Gates, Luke Kuechly, Josh McCown, and Haloti Ngata.
The award is voted on by NFL players. A team cannot vote for their own players. The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors show the night before the Super Bowl. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.
Congrats to Joe on being named a finalist!