The NFL announced on Tuesday that Antonio Gates is one of 32 nominees for the 2018 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Each NFL team nominates one of its players for the award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
This marks the third time Gates has been nominated for the prestigious award, as he was the Chargers’ inaugural nominee in 2014 and was nominated in 2017 as well. Additionally, he was a finalist for the award last season.
Created in 2014 in honor of the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr., 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.
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 eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Friday, December 14. 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 2 on CBS, the night before Super Bowl LIII. 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.
Past winners of the award include Luke Kuechly (2017), Frank Gore (2016), Charles Woodson (2015) and Larry Fitzgerald (2014).