NASHVILLE – Titans safety Kevin Byard has been named the NFLPA Community MVP for the week leading up to NFL Kickoff Weekend.
The NFLPA recognized Byard after he hosted 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, Byard 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."
Earlier this offseason, Byard was also selected as the official spokesperson for the United Way of Greater Nashville.
Byard said he 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. According to the NFLPA release, Byard 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, who played collegiately at MTSU, has made a great effort over the years to give back to the community.
Last May, Byard hosted 200-plus youngsters at the inaugural Kevin Byard Football Camp at Ensworth School. At the time, he said he planned to hold the camp - which was free - every year.
Last September, Byard partnered with UnitedHealthcare to distribute new shoes and socks to over 300 students at Robert Churchwell Elementary School in Nashville. Byard tossed the football with kids, and spoke to them about the importance of making good grades.
In 2019, Byard also teamed up with Academy Sports to provide new shoes and coats for the children of The Boys and Girls club in Smyrna, Tenn.
Byard joined Titans teammates, coaches, and other members of the organization for tornado clean-up efforts in Nashville in March.
Byard began The Byard Family Legacy Fund in 2019 because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of his neighbors. Byard has said the purpose of his foundation is to provide the community with hope.
Byard also volunteered 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 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. Finally, our supporting partner Pledge It has set up a crowdfunding campaign to support the Byard Family Legacy Fund. Supporters can make a flat donation at the following website: pledgeit.org/kevin-byard.
Byard is 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. Please visit our website to learn more about the program.
To learn more about The Byard Family Legacy Fund, visit byardfamilylegacy.org.
Titans safety Kevin Byard and his Byard Family Legacy Fund teamed up with Eat Well Nashville and Cross Point Church to host a special Thanksgiving event for families in need in the greater Nashville community. (Photos: Donald Page)
Titans safety Kevin Byard partnered with Campbell's Chunky Soup to assist the Bridge Ministry in Nashville, Tenn. (Photos: Donald Page)
Titans safety Kevin Byard distributed new shoes and socks to over 300 students at Robert Churchwell Elementary School in Nashville, stressing the importance of making good grades. (Photos: Donald Page)
A look back at safety Kevin Byard's 2019 season that saw him lead the team for the third consecutive season and tie for fourth in the NFL with five interceptions. (Photos: Donald Page)