Madieu Williams is NFL's Man of the Year

Madieu Williams, Man of the Year
Madieu Williams, Man of the Year

Instead of sorry results and scandalous behavior from the Minnesota Vikings, there's some good news: Safety Madieu Williams has been named the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year.

He's only the second Vikings player in history to be recognized by the league for his good works.

The veteran safety hails from Freetown, Sierra Leone, and part of his six-year, $33 million contract with the Vikings goes to helping his homeland. Through the Madieu Williams Foundation, he's built a primary school, funds visits from doctors and dentists, and plans to build a secondary school as well.

Stateside, he's worked with the North Community YMCA, United Way, and Harvest Prep/Seed Academy, and he's donated $2 million to create the Madieu Williams Center for Global Health at the University of Maryland.

Fittingly, he wasn't in Dallas to pick up the award and $20,000 that comes with the title--he was out helping others:

"I'm sorry I couldn't be there to accept the award, but it's an even greater honor to be here in Iraq with Task Force Iron Horse on a goodwill tour watching the Super Bowl with our troops."

"You don't do it for publicity," Williams told us recently, after being named the Vikings' candidate to receive the award. "It's not for people to write about or people to talk about. You do it because it is something you are passionate about, something that you want to do for your community. More importantly, is making the difference in the lives of people and children for generations and years to come."

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