For Pete's Sake

KC sports fans help Eric Berry win NFL Man of the Year ‘Charity Challenge’

Kansas City Chiefs free safety Eric Berry.
Kansas City Chiefs free safety Eric Berry. deulitt@kcstar.com

If we’ve learned one thing about Kansas City sports fans over the last year, it’s that they are prolific online voters of their favorite players.

Last year’s All-Star Game is one example. Another came Friday when Nationwide announced that Chiefs safety Eric Berry had won its “Charity Challenge.”

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Nationwide said it is the “presenting sponsor” of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. Last month, it announced a contest in which fans could use a specific hashtag in support of Berry and the other Man of the Year Award nominees.

Berry’s hashtag (#BerryWPMOYChallenge) was used more than 94,000 times, according to Nationwide. The company said the unique hashtags for all 32 Walter Payton nominees was used 450,000 times, so it appears that Berry won in a landslide.

Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton spoke about a Twitter campaign for Eric Berry to be the NFL's Man of the Year. The title would allow a $20,000 award to be granted to Berry's charity.

Nationwide will donate $20,000 to the Eric Berry Foundation.

“I’m humbled by the overwhelming amount of support from Chiefs Kingdom, Vol Nation, family, friends and those across the country,” Berry said in a news release. “This community has rallied for me since the day I was drafted here, and I am truly grateful to receive this honor. Seeing all of those hashtags was incredible. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

“Additionally, I’d like to thank Nationwide for the $20,000 donation to the Eric Berry Foundation. The funds will be used to continue our mission of providing opportunities and safe environments for kids in sports.”

Here is a sampling of some of the tweets in support of Berry:

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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