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.
|National Football League
|Outstanding character and leadership
|Bart Starr Award
|Athletes in Action
|Steve Largent, WR, 1989
|Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, 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.
- 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.