Tyler Lockett during the Dec. 7 press conference. (Screenshot from Youtube)

Tyler Lockett during the Dec. 7 press conference. (Screenshot from Youtube)

Tyler Lockett, Bobby Wagner pay off school lunch debt for Renton students

The donation comes as the Seahawks wideout receives nomination for NFL’s Man of the Year award.

Seattle Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett and former Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner recently partnered to do something generous for students and families in the Renton School District.

Renton School District spokesperson Randy Matheson said in early November, a representative of Lockett and Wagner, now with the Los Angeles Rams, contacted his office, saying the two NFL players wanted to pay for all outstanding lunch debt for district families.

Matheson said he provided them with the total amount owed, which included a few dozen family accounts. Matheson did not say how much was given by the NFL players. It seems Lockett also hoped to remain unknown and unrecognized, based on his comments during a Dec. 7 press conference.

“I like giving back, but I don’t like people knowing that I give back,” Lockett said with a smile on his face. “I would rather just do it and not get the pat on the back.”

Lockett is nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award, an honor given to players for their exemplary charity work off of the field. He said he prefers that his giving back to community does not become about him, but it understandably difficult not to recognize such a generous act.

“We appreciate this act of generosity and kindness toward our families and students,” Matheson said of the donation.

Lockett is the first Seahawks player to be nominated for the NFL’s Man of the Year Award in consecutive seasons since 2000, and one of only five players in team history with multiple nominations. Russell Wilson and Steve Largent are the only two players in franchise history to win the award, which is considered one the NFL’s most prestigious honors.

“Eventually in life, you realize that you can make a difference, whether it’s money, whether it’s time, whether it’s just words of encouragement or listening, you never really know what people need in order to make it through the day,” Lockett said in a statement regarding the honor. “So it’s pretty cool just to be able to be in those positions that God puts me in to make whatever difference I can, whether big or small.”

According to the Seahawks website, Lockett recently launched a college scholarship program in which he selected seven students to receive $34,000 in scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year. Students who were awarded scholarships have since been admitted to Tennessee State University, Wichita State University, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Oral Roberts University and Tulsa Community College.

Lockett is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attended Kansas State University, two places he continues to give back to.

Lockett also hosted 12 Tulsa Public School students as part of a job shadow program, with students participating in a three-day job shadow with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Keller Williams Realty and the Seahawks. Participating students were also awarded a $5,000 scholarship, for a total of $60,000 in scholarships.

The Seahawks also praised Lockett’s Youth Sports Leadership Initiative, through which he identifies youth sports organizations that could excel and benefit from the donation of clothing, funding, and leadership principles.

This year, Lockett identified three organizations in Oklahoma that received $21,000 in Adidas uniforms and funding to support their sport. He also partnered with Kansas State’s athletics department, to provide $10,000 to the Kansas State football team to implement the Catapult Data Tracking technology. This wearable technology allows teams to track player distance traveled, explosive plays and load.

According to the Seattle Seahawks website, Lockett’s Light It Up Foundation last year donated more than $32,000 worth of clothing, shoes and food to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. This year, Lockett donated $6,000 to support Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Tulsa’s only nonprofit agency who provides comprehensive intervention and prevention services to men, women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence.

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