Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is the winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.
The other finalists were Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson and Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
Watt’s charitable efforts through his foundation are well-documented, highlighted by his work to raise more than $37 million for hurricane and flood relief.
During a fan forum in Minneapolis on Friday Watt credited former college and NFL safety, Dr. Myron Rolle, as his inspiration for starting his foundation while he was in college.
Rolle is currently a neurosurgeon resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
“That’s fantastic. If I was able to serve that role for JJ that’s an amazing thing because he’s certainly taking it to a higher level by affecting change and driving change in Houston and Texas and I’m sure around the country as well, Dr. Rolle said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.
“It’s flattering. It’s humbling. It’s an honor. It certainly is, and it’s one of the incredible byproducts of altruism, and truly trying to be a citizen of the world.
“I’m doing my own thing here through medicine and neurosurgery, but any way that we can partner or continue to drive this change forward that’d be amazing.”
J.J. Watt and Dr. Myron Rolle would make a formidable team.