Vikings veteran linebacker Chad Greenway on Thursday was announced by the NFL Players Association as one of five finalists for the NFLPA's most prestigious annual honor, the Byron "Whizzer" White Award.
Players on all 32 NFL clubs nominated a representative from their team who goes "above and beyond to perform community service" where they play and in their respective hometowns.
A panel of judges, Charlie Batch, Mike Kenn and Kevin Mawae, narrowed the field from 32 to five. The winner will be announced March 18 and receive $100,000 for the player's foundation or charity of his choice. All 32 nominees received $5,000 for charity.
In addition to Greenway, Dustin Colquitt (Chiefs), Malcolm Jenkins (Eagles), Jameel McClain (Giants) and Charles Tillman (Bears) are this year's finalists.
Greenway, who established his Lead The Way Foundation in 2008, has been actively involved in improving lives in the Twin Cities and his home state of South Dakota. The Lead The Way Foundation has raised more than $1.3 million to provide seriously ill and physically challenged children better access to technological entertainment and education devices in hospitals and with unique experiences. He has also participated annually in the Gridiron Gallop 5k since he was selected in the first round in 2006.
The NFLPA said the award, which was established in 1967, is presented out of gratitude to former Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers) and Lions halfback Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White, who became a Supreme Court Justice. The NFLPA referred to White as a "scholar, athlete, patriot, humanitarian and public servant" in a press release announcing the finalists.
Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter is the only Vikings player who is a past recipient of the award.
Previous Byron R. "Whizzer" White Award Winners
2014 Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
2013 Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012 Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2011 Tony Richardson, New York Jets
2010 Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
2009 Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles
2008 Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Atlanta Falcons
2007 John Lynch, Denver Broncos
2006 Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
2005 Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2004 Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003 Troy Vincent, Philadelphia Eagles
2002 Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars
2001 Michael McCrary, Baltimore Ravens
2000 Doug Pelfrey, Cincinnati Bengals
1999 Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings
1998 Hardy Nickerson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1997 Chris Zorich, Chicago Bears
1996 Bill Brooks, Buffalo Bills
1995 Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
1994 Mark Kelso, Buffalo Bills
1993 Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs
1992 Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1991 Mike Kenn, Atlanta Falcons
1990 Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns
1989 Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1988 Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
1987 George Martin, New York Giants
1986 Nat Moore, Miami Dolphins
1985 Reggie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
1984 Rolf Benirschke, San Diego Chargers
1983 Doug Dieken, Cleveland Browns
1982 Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
1981 Ken Houston, Washington Redskins
1980 Gene Upshaw, Los Angeles Raiders
1979 Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys
1978 Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints
1977 Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
1976 Jim Hart, St. Louis Cardinals
1975 Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers
1974 Floyd Little, Denver Broncos
1973 Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers
1972 Ray May, Baltimore Colts
1971 Kermit Alexander, Los Angeles Rams
1970 Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
1969 Ed Meador, Los Angeles Rams
1968 Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers
1967 Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers