Bart Starr Award

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The Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award is given annually to an American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who "best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field, and in the community". The award is presented by Athletes in Action (AIA), a sports ministry associated with Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ). It is awarded to the winner each year at the Super Bowl Breakfast, an NFL-sanctioned event that occurs the day before the Super Bowl. The nominee list is compiled by a group of individuals made-up of the Public Relations Directors of every NFL team, past award winners and AIA staff. The list is trimmed to 10 players, with the award winner chosen by AIA leadership and past award winners. However, some past awardees have been chosen by fellow NFL players after the initial list is trimmed down to 10. The award was first given at the second Super Bowl Breakfast in 1989. Bart Starr, the Hall of Fame former quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, partnered with AIA to present the award that bears his name. Starr was selected by AIA because he was an "individual of impeccable character who has served his family and community faithfully through the years and is a role model for athletes and business people alike". Starr presented every award until 2015, when a stroke prevented him from attending the Super Bowl Breakfast anymore. Since 2015, former NFL coach Tony Dungy and Starr's son have presented the award in his honor.

Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award
Full body photo of Bart Starr in his uniform tossing a football towards the camera
Bart Starr, former quarterback of the Green Bay Packers and namesake of the award
LeagueNational Football League
Awarded forOutstanding character and leadership
NicknameBart Starr Award
Sponsored byAthletes in Action
First awardSteve Largent, WRTooltip Wide receiver, 1989
Most recentMinkah Fitzpatrick, STooltip Safety (gridiron football position), 2024

Steve Largent, the Hall of Fame former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, was the winner of the inaugural award in 1989. Since then, 37 NFL players have received the award. This includes Eugene Robinson, a safety for the Atlanta Falcons, who returned the award after being arrested the night he received it for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Historically, the award has only been given to one player a year, however in 1998, Irving Fryar and Brent Jones shared the award. The award has been given to one set of brothers (Peyton and Eli Manning in 2015 and 2019 respectively) and one father and son (Jackie and Matthew Slater in 1996 and 2017 respectively). The most recent awardee was Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 2024.

Award winners

Bart Starr Award winners
Year[a] Image Player Position Team Refs
1989   Steve Largent Wide receiver Seattle Seahawks
1990   Anthony Muñoz Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals
1991   Mike Singletary Linebacker Chicago Bears
1992   Reggie White Defensive end Philadelphia Eagles
1993 Gill Byrd Cornerback San Diego Chargers
1994   Warren Moon Quarterback Houston Oilers
1995   Cris Carter Wide receiver Minnesota Vikings
1996 Jackie Slater Offensive tackle St. Louis Rams
1997   Darrell Green Cornerback Washington Redskins
1998   Irving Fryar Wide receiver Philadelphia Eagles
Brent Jones Tight end San Francisco 49ers
1999 Eugene Robinson[b] Safety Atlanta Falcons
2000   Aeneas Williams Cornerback Arizona Cardinals
2001   Bruce Matthews Offensive tackle Tennessee Titans
2002   Darren Woodson Safety Dallas Cowboys
2003   Trent Dilfer Quarterback Seattle Seahawks
2004   Derrick Brooks Linebacker Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2005   Troy Vincent Cornerback Buffalo Bills
2006   Curtis Martin Running back New York Jets
2007   John Lynch Safety Denver Broncos
2008   LaDainian Tomlinson Running back San Diego Chargers
2009   Warrick Dunn Running back Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2010   Kurt Warner Quarterback Arizona Cardinals
2011   Drew Brees Quarterback New Orleans Saints
2012   London Fletcher Linebacker Washington Redskins
2013   Jason Witten Tight end Dallas Cowboys
2014   Aaron Rodgers Quarterback Green Bay Packers
2015   Peyton Manning Quarterback Denver Broncos
2016   Thomas Davis Sr. Linebacker Carolina Panthers
2017   Matthew Slater Wide receiver New England Patriots
2018   Benjamin Watson Tight end Baltimore Ravens
2019   Calais Campbell Defensive end Jacksonville Jaguars
2020   Eli Manning Quarterback New York Giants
2021   Demario Davis Linebacker New Orleans Saints
2022   Russell Wilson Quarterback Seattle Seahawks
2023   Kirk Cousins Quarterback Minnesota Vikings
2024   Minkah Fitzpatrick Safety Pittsburgh Steelers


  • a Winners are listed by the year the award was given, not by the season the player had just completed.
  • b Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson won the award for the 1998 NFL season, but was arrested the evening he received the award in Miami, Florida, for soliciting a female undercover police officer who was posing as a prostitute. This occurred on the eve of the Falcons' game against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. Robinson later agreed to return the award. He is no longer listed on the AIA's list of award winners.

See also