By Mark Gaughan
Buffalo Bills fourth-year linebacker Arthur Moats Friday was named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year, and he also received the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.
The Payton award honors a player on every team for their volunteer and charity work along with contributions on the field. It’s named after the late Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back. The Block award is given for inspiration, sportsmanship and courage. It’s named after a former trainer for the Baltimore Colts known for his humanitarianism.
“It’s a huge honor and it comes with a lot of responsibility as well,” said Moats. “I’m humbled by it. I feel like I’m in a position where I can influence people and touch a lot of lives. My family and I understand the spot we’re in and want to help people out and let everyone know that we’re in Buffalo to be a part of the community.”
Moats has a strong relationship with the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. He has participated in numerous programs that encourage donations to the local community. The past two years, Moats has hosted students from the Closing the Gap/Say Yes to Education schools for a holiday shopping spree, providing each student with a $300 gift card. Moats has made many appearances to local schools.
In his hometown of Portsmouth, Va., Moats made a $5,000 contribution to his high school’s football program and gave $2,500 to the school’s art program.
Moats recovered from sports hernia surgery in the 2013 offseason. He has started a career-best 12 games at inside linebacker and made a career-high 48 tackles so far this season.
Moats will take part in the 36th annual national Ed Block Courage Awards Foundation ceremony on March 17 in Baltimore, along with the 31 other recipients of the award in the league.