When you hear the name Cam Heyward, the first thought that likely pops into your head is “stellar defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers.” This would be technically correct, as we’ve watched him wreck quarterbacks and tear through offensive lines over his 12 years in the league. However, there’s so much more to Cam Heyward than what you see on the surface as a football player. He has mastered the one thing we so desperately need more of in this world–compassion.
Who Is Cam Heyward?
Cam Heyward is a superbly talented defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who played college football at Ohio State University. The Steelers drafted him with the 31st overall pick in the 2011 draft. He’s been a consistent starter and impact player on the defensive end since his third year in the league, and is a five time pro bowler. An avid fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cam has appeared on the popular podcast Phase Zero in the past.
Heyward is the Steelers 2022 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, earning his fifth nomination since entering the league. The WPMOY award, established in 1970, is reserved for players who make an outstanding impact in their community, alongside playing at a high level throughout the season.
The Heyward House
Heyward puts in a lot of effort to positively impact in his community, and with help from his foundation, The Heyward House, he’s creating a better life for children all across Pennsylvania. The foundation is committed to helping all children, whether they’re battling cancer, or fighting against hunger and poverty. They also focus on helping teachers attain the resources they need, and giving young men easier access to tools they can use to be more successful through Craig’s Closet. You don’t have to look very far to see the that the reach of Cam Heyward’s kindness knows no boundaries.
The foundation features a ton of cool merchandise, ranging from apparel, to Blitz Mix, Cam Heyward’s personal favorite snack. The proceeds from the sales of merchandise go straight back into the foundation, towards helping the children who need it the most.
A Beloved Teammate and Role Model
Several other members of the Steelers Organization spoke of Heyward with glowing reverence when asked about his WPMOY nomination. Former Steelers’ legend Jerome Bettis says, “What I have seen from Cam is that his is a genuine commitment. He’s genuinely intertwined in his foundation. He’s committed to it. He gets his teammates involved, and everybody wants to support what he’s doing. That’s a great sign of a leader, that he wants to step up in the community, but also tasks his teammates to step up as well, showing them the way.”
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin had this to say:
“There’s a lot of guys in the league who give back. I think where Cam stands out is his consistency. Year in and year out, he’s been a consistent leader and role model on the field and in the community for the young players on this team. It’s been special having a guy like that in our locker room for over a decade now.”
Cam Heyward: A Hero For All Time
It is an irrefutable fact that the world needs more people like Cam Heyward. He is truly a beacon of light, shining out and making his presence felt all over his community. If you have the resources available to donate, please consider doing so, because there are so many children out there who could use your help. Looking at the world through a prism of disappointment is an easy trap to fall into, I’m guilty of it myself from time to time. However, if each of us can just do a fraction of the good Cam Heyward does, we can start making the world a better place one step at a time.
Please head to Twitter and vote for Cam Heyward using the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge, with the name “Heyward” included.