Houston - (Jan. 4, 2017) – New England Patriots Wide Receiver, Matthew Slater has been chosen by his National Football League (NFL) peers to receive one of the sport's most prestigious honors, The Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award, given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field.
Matthew Slater's father, Hall of Famer Jackie Slater was a former offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and the 1996 Bart Starr Award winner, making this the first time a father and son have both earned the honor.
The Bart Starr Award will be given to Matthew Slater in person at what is widely considered one of Super Bowl weekend's premier events, the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. Along with his father, Matthew Slater will join the list of Bart Starr Award winners that includes Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Brent Jones, Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Jason Witten, London Fletcher and Reggie White.
"I am very aware of Bart Starr's character and the type of man he is, so to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mr. Starr is humbling," said Matthew Slater. "I am honored to be receiving this award, not only for what it stands for, but because it is something I can share with my father. I was there when he received his award and to be receiving it myself two decades later is a very special honor for my family."
As a six-time Pro Bowler and special teams captain, Matthew Slater helped lead his team to the 2014 Super Bowl title, but he is known for much more than his game on the field. He regularly gives back through the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and volunteers in various children's ministries throughout the year. In 2013, Slater earned the Ron Burton Community Service Award for his dedication to the community.
Matthew Slater also regularly serves as a guest speaker. In 2015, Fisher College created the Matthew Slater Scholarship Award in his honor after he spoke at the school's commencement ceremony.
An anticipated 1,700 business executives will attend this year's breakfast, presented by Athletes in Action and the Super Service Challenge, to watch Matthew Slater receive the Bart Starr Award and hear stories of faith and football from NFL players past and present. Program guests will include Tony Dungy (Super Bowl Champion Coach), Roger Staubach (HOF 1985), Bruce Matthews (Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, 1983 – 2013), Anthony Munoz (Cincinnati Bengals, 1980 – 1992), Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1995 – 2008) and emcee James Brown (host of The NFL Today and Thursday Night Football).