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Vernon Davis A Finalist For Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award


Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis is one of eight finalist for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. The winner will be announced in February.

The National Football League in December announced the eight finalists for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, and Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis is among them.

This is the first time Davis has been nominated for the award, as he joins Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Haloti Ngata and San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley as finalists.

Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes those who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition, according to a league press release.

The winner of the award will be determined by a vote of current NFL players. Additionally, a panel of former players consisting of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler from the NFL Legends Community selected the finalists.  

The finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under a "NFL Sportsmanship Award" category when the players sit down to make their selections for the annual all-star game. Each team's player will have to submit a consensus vote for their choice on the award.

The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors show on Saturday, Feb. 3 on NBC, the night before Super Bowl LII is played.

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

The winner will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how players demonstrate integrity and honor on the field and serve as role models for football players at all levels.

Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals won the inaugural award while former Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson was the announced winner in 2015.

Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore was the named the award-winner last year.

"Playing in the league means that I'm to play this game," Davis said, via "I have to play this game fairly. I have to play it the way it's supposed to be played. Playing it with respect for everyone from your teammates down to your opponent. And not just the opponents, but the officials and everyone else associated with the game. You want to treat them the way you would like to be treated. Just treat them with respect.

"It's pretty cool (to be one of eight finalists for the award)," Davis continued. "It means that my teammates believe in me. Not only do they believe in me, they think highly of you as a person who exemplifies what it takes to be that standup guy when it comes to playing the game of football."

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