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Former Packer Charles Woodson Wins Sportsmanship Award

Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders is the winner of the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, it was announced on Saturday. The award recognizes the NFL player who demonstrates the qualities of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field, including fair play, respect for opponents and integrity in competition.

The announcement of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Presented by McDonald’s was made at NFL Honors. The award was founded last year in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.

Woodson will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice. 

To commemorate the honor, Woodson was presented on-stage “The Art Rooney Trophy,” which represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for other players at all levels. The award design was inspired by the upward arc of a football in motion and contains a gold line embedded in glass that represents the path of sportsmanship throughout a career. Etched into the award are the words "integrity,” “honor,” “respect,” and “fairness," the values that define excellent sportsmanship.

The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. In 2014, the players chose Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals as the inaugural winner of the Art Rooney Award. 

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected eight finalists (four in the AFC; four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees.

The eight finalists were listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award when players voted on December 18, 2015. From the eight finalists, each team’s players submit a consensus vote of its choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team could not vote for its own player.

The finalists, featuring four players from each conference, were running back Justin Forsett of Baltimore, running back Matt Forte of Chicago, linebacker Luke Kuechly of Carolina, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on Indianapolis, wide receiver Calvin Johnson of Detroit, cornerback Jason McCourty of Tennessee and tackle Joe Staley of San Francisco.

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