NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is once again the team's nominee for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
It's the second year in a row Mariota has been up for the award.
Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. The award was created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney, Sr.
When asked about the award last year, Mariota gave credit to his parents.
"I would say that's stuff that you kind of learn as you grow," Mariota said. "My parents kind of instilled those types of values in me at a really young age. Growing up, I was a pretty bad sport. I mean, if I lost, I wasn't the nicest person to be around. Again, those are things that my parents have kind of instilled in us, me and my brother. Hopefully, we're able to continue to carry that as we go forward."
Mariota, the second overall pick of the Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, has been a team captain in each of his first three seasons.
The winner of the NFL Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community will select eight finalists (four in the AFC and four in the NFC) from the 32 nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg, and Leonard Wheeler.
The eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 15. From the eight finalists, each team's players will submit a consensus vote of their choice for the winner. As in Pro Bowl voting, a team cannot vote for its own player.
The award is presented each year to an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. Past recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award include Frank Gore of the Colts (2016), Charles Woodson of the Raiders (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals (2014).
The winner selected by the vote of the players will be announced during the nationally televised NFL Honors show on Saturday, February 3 on NBC, the night before Super Bowl LII. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice, and will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.
Titans QB Marcus Mariota signs autographs on Day 3 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography)