Carlos Dunlap has been nominated for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Dunlap is one of 32 nominees for the fourth annual Rooney Award. Each team chooses one player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.
A panel of former players will choose eight finalists (four from the AFC and four from the NFC). Then current players will vote on the finalists as a part of their Pro Bowl voting. As with the Pro Bowl, teams will not be able to vote for their own players.
The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late Art Rooney Sr. who was the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and who has been one of the most influential owners in NFL history. He helped create the rule that each team must interview at least one minority coach before hiring a coach for a position. A rule that has been dubbed the Rooney Rule, which has helped build diversity among the coaching ranks in the NFL.
The Winner will be announced the night before the Super Bowl. The winner will also be awarded a $25,000 donation from the NFL to the charity of their choice as well as a trophy that represents the importance of sportsmanship in the NFL.
It has to be quite the honor to be chosen by your team to be the best representation of sportsmanship for them. Dunlap has always been one of the best players in the NFL as far as that aspect is concerned. You will hardly ever see him not smiling, or him not enjoying living out his dream of playing in the NFL.
You can tell the team really loves him as well. When Dunlap returned an interception for a touchdown against the Colts to give the Bengals the lead, he was piled on by almost the entire defense in the end zone. Guys couldn’t wait to celebrate with him.
Former winners of the award include Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts (2016), Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals (2014).
This has been quite the couple weeks for Dunlap as last week he was named the Week 9 NFLPA Community MVP for his work off the field. That work includes his ongoing bullying campaign that helps kids in Cincinnati as well as kids in cities during the Bengals’ road games. Not to mention all the other work he does off the field including throwing birthday parties for homeless children.
Dunlap really is just a great human being on and off the field. He really is a person that we all should strive to be a little more like. It is also great he is setting such a great example for the children of Cincinnati. Here is hoping Dunlap can bring home the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award for Cincinnati and the Bengals’ fans.