Kevin Byard has been named NFLPA Community MVP after hosting two back-to-school events that benefited more than 100 disadvantaged families in the metropolitan Nashville area.
In partnership with United Healthcare, Stuff the Bus, United Way and Academy Sports, the Tennessee Titans All-Pro safety packed and distributed more than 300 distance learning kits to those in need. The kits included school supplies, essential hygiene items, backpacks, gift cards and sporting goods.
“It’s an honor and a blessing to be highlighted as NFLPA Community MVP,” Byard said. “I’m grateful to give back to my city and ensure I’m truly making a difference to those in need.”
Given the current climate of the country, Byard wanted to lend a helping hand to families who have lost jobs and may not have the resources available to transition to a new style of living and learning. The Titans co-captain divided his efforts into two portions earlier this summer – one in person, where he went from door-to-door delivering the back-to-school kits while wearing a mask; and the other virtually, where he reminded the youth to stay strong, focus on their education and that hope is on the horizon.
Byard understands what it is like to go through tough times, which is why he is always ready to help. This includes the work he did with the Titans during the tornado clean-up efforts in March, volunteering on Giving Tuesday with local high school football teams to create care packages for the homeless and taking the lead as an instrument for change during the recent social justice protests.
Through his Byard Family Legacy Fund, which he launched in 2019, the fifth-year NFL veteran has held free annual football camps for 200-plus students, hosted Thanksgiving food distributions and provided new shoes, socks and coats for local youth. In just the past year, Byard, who played collegiate football at Middle Tennessee State, has impacted more than 5,000 individuals in need in the greater Nashville community.
In honor of Byard being named this week’s Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to his foundation or charity of choice. The NFLPA will also work with Byard to set up a virtual visit to a school or hospital in his community as a way of honoring and inspiring those who are impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Along with the other 2020 Community MVPs, Byard will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA can bestow upon a player.
The NFLPA Community MVP program recognizes NFL players who are making a positive impact in their team cities and hometowns. Each week during the regular season, the NFLPA will celebrate one NFL player who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back to his community.