CHARLOTTE, N.C. — His season on the field may have been cut short due to an injury, but Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is still winning competitions. On Monday, Nationwide announced Newton as the winner of its fifth annual Walter Payton Man of the Year charity challenge.
During the monthlong social media contest, fans were encouraged to show support for their favorite NFL Man of the Year nominee by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by the player’s last name on Twitter.
In all, Newton received more than 600,000 votes on the site. Nick Sundberg, from the Washington Redskins, finished second with close to 300,000 uses of his hashtag. In all, fans used the 32 different team nominees’ hashtags more than 1.8 million times.
For finishing in first place, Nationwide will contribute $25,000 to the Cam Newton Foundation.
"I appreciate the fans for showing support in helping me win Nationwide's Charity Challenge,” Newton said in a news release. “I'm using this platform to enhance programs and grants that will greatly impact the community.
“To be nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is something that I really appreciate -- because it's bigger than football. God has blessed me and all I'm trying to do is bless others."
During his time at Carolina, QB1 has stayed busy off the field giving back to the Charlotte community. The week before Christmas, while recovering from foot surgery, Newton hosted his annual Santa Cam Surprise Sleigh, distributing $130,000 in cash and gifts to children and families in need.
In November, Newton hosted his eighth annual Cam’s Thanksgiving Jam, where he treated more than 1,300 underprivileged kids and their families to Thanksgiving dinner.
Last month, the Panthers nominated Newton for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes players for their community service, as well as excellence on the field.
The award will be presented on Feb. 1 during the NFL Honors ceremony.
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