Denver Broncos earn pretigious 2022 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year

Justin Simmons speaks to kids at his Justin Simmons football camp. Credit: Rich West, special to USA TODAY Sports.
Justin Simmons speaks to kids at his Justin Simmons football camp. Credit: Rich West, special to USA TODAY Sports.

The Denver Broncos are the most philanthropic team in all sports this year.

ESPN named the Broncos the 2022 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year per a release from the team which explains the award, “… is given to a sports franchise that demonstrates how teamwork can create a measurable impact on a community or cause.”

The Broncos became the first NFL team to win the award since the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment to just be recognized as a finalist and an incredible honor to be named the winner of ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award,” Broncos Vice President of Community Development Allie Engelken said. “This award is a culmination of adjusting to the immediate needs of our community while deepening our commitment to the long-term strategic programming we have in place. We were fortunate enough to accomplish some truly impactful feats during the 2020-21 seasons, and we hope to build on that for years to come.

“We want to thank President and CEO Joe Ellis, players, staff, Denver Broncos Charities Board of Directors and community partners for their support and ability to adapt while still positively impacting our community. I also want to acknowledge the rest of the community development team—Patrick Smyth, Liz Jeralds, Bobby Mestas, Katie Shuster, and Maya Blacken—for their hard work and dedication to utilizing our platform as an agent for social change.”

Denver will accept the award on Wednesday, July 20 on the ESPYS which will be broadcasted by ESPN stating at 6 p.m. MT.

Per the team’s release, in 2022, Broncos players and staff supported their community by:

  • Players volunteering more than 900 hours through 745 different engagements
  • Launching a gun buyback program in partnership with Denver & Aurora councilmembers and Colorado-based nonprofit RAWTools
  • Contributing over $275,000 for Inspire Change programs and initiatives
  • Being the only professional sports team to fully fund its own branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, giving 14,500+ under-resourced youth a home away from home since 2003
  • Supporting 30 local nonprofits via the club’s annual Community Grant Program
  • Investing in the equity of female youth sports in the Metro Denver area, with an emphasis on launching a girls high school flag football pilot program
  • Conducting the Staff Community Service Series, featuring in-person and remote monthly volunteer opportunities for Broncos staff and families

Justin Simmons has not only been a leader for the Broncos on the football field, but in the community as well. In 2021, he was the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and not only has his own football camp but is regularly seen at many other community-oriented outings.

The Broncos kick off their training camp on Wednesday, July 27 in Dove Valley before the season starts in September.

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