Benjamin Watson, tight end for the Baltimore Ravens, received the Bart Starr Award at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast Saturday morning.
The breakfast is an NFL-sanctioned event in which Athletes in Action presents the annual award. It is voted on by all current NFL players, signifying character and excellence in the home, in the community, and on the field.
Nominees are gathered from the Public Relations Directors of each NFL team, the past winners of the Bart Starr Award, the Athletes in Action Pro Staff working with NFL teams and Bart Starr. Ballots are sent to each team and voting takes place at the same time as the Pro Bowl selections. The votes are tabulated and the winner is announced at the annual Super Bowl Breakfast.
In 1988, Athletes in Action held its inaugural Super Bowl Breakfast at Super Bowl XXII in San Diego, CA. In 1989, the first Bart Starr Award was presented at the Super Bowl Breakfast. Bart Starr agreed to partner with Athletes in Action to present this award in his name.
Starr was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls and earned four Pro Bowl selections. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977. He won the league MVP award in 1966.
His health has been declining in recent years.
Watson received the news he had won the award with a telephone call from Cherry Starr, the wife of Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr in January.
"Thank you. Thank you so much," Watson told Starr upon hearing the news. "I've been there and seen the men you all select. And this is an honor, I'm kind of speechless."
"I'm really honored to represent you and your family," Watson said. "My family and I are going to be honored to join you this year to receive this. Thank you so much."
Yesterday, @BenjaminSWatson received a call from Bart Starr's wife Cherry to inform him he was the recipient of this year's Bart Starr Award.
The award honors the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. pic.twitter.com/xASH0xAJLA
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 5, 2018
Watson posed for a photo of the finalists for the award.
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) February 3, 2018
Last year's Bart Starr award winner was the New England Patriots Matthew Slater.