SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — For the second-consecutive season, San Francisco 49er’s tackle Joe Staley is selected as the team’s nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The award was created in 2014 in honor of the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
It is presented annually to the NFL player who best demonstrates qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
Suiting up each game and being reliable are important parts of showing your character not only to your teammates, but to your NFL peers.
Joe Staley has shown exactly that.
Even during times of chaos and turmoil, the left tackle suits up for every game.
In fact, he has not missed a game in the past five seasons.
He is always there to protect his quarterback’s blindside, no matter who is standing in the pocket.
Staley’s demeanor and on-field success have earned him invitations to five consecutive Pro Bowls, and the honor of being nominated as a team captain in back-to-back seasons (2014-15).
Off the field, prior to Super Bowl 50 held at Levi’s Stadium in 2016, Staley gave away a pair of tickets and a signed game-worn jersey to single father Johnel Spivey and his seven-year old daughter, Jordan. Spivey, 54 had been on dialysis three days a week for the previous six years.
During the 2015 off-season, he and his teammates invited Anthony Pineda, a 13-year-old who battled Leukemia, to be a “Captain for the Day” as part of ESPN’s “My Wish” program. Pineda’s initial invitation came from a video hosted by Staley.
The eight finalists for he Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 16. From the eight finalists, each team’s players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
If he wins Staley will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. He will also receive a trophy that represents the important role of sportsmanship, and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.