Steelers cornerback William Gay has been named the Steelers 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, the team announced today.
Gay represents the Steelers as one of 32 NFL team's Man of the Year award winners and qualifies for the league's national 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year. The award recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence. The overall winner will be announced during Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz.
In late October, Gay teamed up with the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to introduce a new national danger assessment app, RUSafe. The app helps individuals to identify if they are a victim of domestic violence and connects them to a local hotline. Gay is the national spokesman for RUSafe, and the app was made available nationwide via smartphone app stores on November 1.
In 2010, Gay provided a holiday dinner for the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh. It was on that night that Gay, for the first time, shared his story about the impact domestic violence had on his life, and he began a partnership with the shelter that has continued since. Gay was presented with the Ted Craig Humanitarian Award by the Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh in 2012 for his efforts to end intimate partner violence.
Gay was one of 23 current and former NFL players to be featured in the recent "No More" public service announcements to help end domestic violence.
A former fifth-round selection in 2007 by the Steelers, Gay has never missed a single game in his NFL career, and his current 121 consecutive games played streak is the longest active streak in the NFL for a defensive back. His career numbers include seven interceptions, two of which have been returned for touchdowns, five sacks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Gay also had a huge play in the 2010 AFC Championship, when he recovered a fumble and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown.