Houston Texans security Michael Thomas has been nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
Source: The Houston Texans
Houston Texans security Michael Thomas could not get a Super Bowl ring this 12 months — however he has lengthy been getting kudos for his work off the sphere.
A champion of social justice and monetary literacy, the NFL veteran has been nominated for this 12 months’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, which acknowledges an NFL participant for his excellent group service. The winner can be introduced Feb. 6, the day earlier than the championship recreation.
Thomas’ focus on monetary literacy stems from his lack of understanding about the subject rising up. It wasn’t till he was an grownup that realized about funds.
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His mother and father had been centered on “trying to make ends meet,” he mentioned.
That’s as a result of when Thomas was a little one, the household moved to Texas from Louisiana for his sister’s most cancers remedy. In the method, his mother and father went from being attorneys to lecturers, and his father finally grew to become the only real monetary supplier for the household.
“He was working to provide for his family and that might not necessarily leave him with disposable income to invest,” mentioned Thomas, who simply wrapped up his first season with the Texans.
“So those conversations are not going to be had.”
Michael Thomas reads books to Houston-area elementary faculty college students over Zoom to rejoice Houston Texans Founder’s Day.
Source: Houston Texans
Yet though he did not know a lot about money as a little one, he knew he wished to make a distinction. He was impressed by commercials of soccer execs visiting shocked followers.
“Even as a kid, I thought if I make it to the NFL, I’ll always come back and give that experience to kids, regardless of whether it is a surprise or a constant support system,” recalled the 30-year-old Thomas, who has additionally performed for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.
His record of excellent works is lengthy.
This 12 months, his social justice initiatives centered on advocacy and schooling, similar to organizing a Texans participant video calling for reform after the police killing of George Floyd and taking part in a Boys & Girls Club of America Youth for Change Town Hall.
“I want to really work toward a solution, work toward change, whatever that looks like in this country,” Thomas mentioned.
He additionally raised money for the Dreambuilders Foundation, which helps financially, bodily and mentally challenged children, and has been the spokesperson for the Houston Texans Stats Challenge program, which inspires children to get pleasure from math.
Thomas even has his personal initiative — a free youth soccer camp known as Camp Mike T. Held in Houston’s Thorne Stadium, this system focuses on elementary, middle- and high-school college students and teaches them about greater than the game.
The attendees additionally study expertise similar to making use of to faculty and dealing with money. That consists of cost-of-living, budgeting, and taxes, in addition to what an NFL contract seems to be like.
“The reality is not everybody is going to get a football scholarship or make it to the NFL,” Thomas mentioned.
“To see them light up and be so engaged with the academic advisors, the different colleges and ask questions is gratifying,” he mentioned.