Walter Payton's Ethic Role Model

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Walter Payton is an iconic role model to many people, and he has had an influence on others before his career and during it. One of the greatest running backs in NFL history, Walter Payton played his entire career with the Chicago Bears. When he retired, he was the all time leader in rushing yards and was one of the most beloved figures in sports. Walter Payton’s nickname was “Sweetness” to reflect his personality and playing style. “The smiley, goofy, soft-spoken Payton was a sweet person. The cutting, dashing, swiveling Payton was a sweet runner” (Pearlman 183). Walter Payton was born in Columbia, Mississippi, in 1954. Growing up, Walter Payton was poor and his father was an alcoholic. Even at an early age, he showed tremendous athletic…show more content…
Dozens of running backs have tried to emulate his hard running and aggressive style, and his toughness was legendary. As Walter Payton himself said, “Tough times go away, tough people do not” (Pearlman 345). His influence, however, went beyond the football field. Walter Payton was known for giving back to the community and for his charitable activities. As a result, the NFL selects a player each year to win the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. This award honors Walter Payton by recognizing a player who has made outstanding contributions to his community. The fact that this award is named after Walter Payton demonstrates his lasting impact on others. Unfortunately, Walter Payton’s life after football was short. In 1995, just eight years after retiring, Walter Payton died of progressive liver disease and bile duct cancer. Even today, he remains one of the most loved athletes in history. “Twenty-four years after his final game and twelve years following his death at age forty-six, Payton has attained an iconic spot atop the sports pantheon” (Pearlman 491). Although Walter Payton’s life was short, he made a lasting impact on many people, both before and during his

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