RENTON, Wash. - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett recently teamed up with former teammate Bobby Wagner, and paid for all delinquent student lunch and meal accounts in the Renton School District.
This act of generosity is one of the many reasons why Lockett was named as the Seahawks' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for the second straight season.
During a press conference where Lockett commented on his Man of the Year nomination, he described how this act of kindness was made possible with help from Bobby Wagner.
"I will say the other thing that we just did that I thought was really, really cool – and I actually learned this from Bobby," said Lockett. "I was talking with Mo Kelly and Mario [Bailey], and we're just trying to figure out what we can do to be able to help kids in school. Sometimes it's hard to think about it. Hopefully ‘BWagz’ doesn't get mad at me, but I reached out to him and asked him, because I heard some of the stuff that he did."
Despite being opponents on the field, the two NFL stars remain friends, and have the same goal in mind when they hang up their uniforms at the end of the day: giving back to the community.
"It was really cool. We ended up kind of splitting it, but we paid some delinquencies for free lunch and stuff like that. That was something I learned from him. And just going back to talking about Bobby – Bobby is like a big brother. I mean, he's really an all-around dude, I really look up to him and stuff like that," said Lockett.
Lockett is no rookie when it comes to giving back to the community. A lot of his time is devoted to giving back locally in Washington state, and to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"I know he does a lot of stuff in his free time – giving back that a lot of people don't even know about but when I learned about that, he was kind of able to walk me through and put me in touch with the people who helped him with that," said Lockett. "It was really cool to be able to do that here in Seattle."
Lockett also touched on what makes him most proud about being nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year.
"It always balances out everything that the NFL stands for in football," said Lockett. "We talk about how much of a business it is, and it makes you somewhat have to be selfish sometimes, because you have to look out for yourself. Sometimes with the NFL, it doesn't matter how good of a teammate you are, because if you aren't producing, you are out of the game. Being able to be selected, you start to take a step back and start to remember the bigger picture, how a lot of this stuff in football is to be able to get you a head start in life. When you get that head start, you have a chance and an opportunity to be able to give other people head starts. It doesn't always have to be with money, it could be with time, it could be with just commitment, it could be with being a mentor, or it could be with just listening. It's mostly whatever people need in order to help push them through."