The NFL announced on Monday that Antonio Gates has been named a finalist for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. He is one of eight finalists chosen alongside Alex Smith, Josh McCown, Joe Thomas, Vernon Davis, Haloti Ngata, Luke Kuechly and Joe Staley.
Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award, which recognizes those who best demonstrate the qualities of on-field sportsmanship. This is the second time Gates has been the Chargers’ nominee.
The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award is determined by a vote of current NFL players. 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 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. He 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.