Sportress of Blogitude

Eli Manning explains why he likes to keep charity work low-key

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Eli Manning will be in Santa Clara, Calif., for Super Bowl 50 as one of the three finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The New York Giants quarterback has developed a sterling reputation throughout his NFL career for his many charitable endeavors, and he admits he’s proud to be recognized for it through his nomination for the award.

But he insists he prefers to keep his many charity appearances more low key, and he has a noble reason for it.

He does it for the kids.

Manning says he rarely schedules his visits in advance when he plans to visit Hackensack University Medical Center, which is affiliated with a program called “Tackle Kids Cancer.” And while the Giants want him recognized for his efforts and suggest sending along a camera crew, he refuses, saying he’s not doing these things “for show.”

“They need footage and I don’t want that, that’s not the point,” he said. “I’m not doing it to try to get an award, that’s not what I’m up for.”

Speaking on a conference call to discuss being named one of the finalists for the coveted award, Manning explained why he prefers to be more low key when making an unscheduled appearance.

“Sometimes you walk into the room and an eight-year old boy sees a camera, he’s not going to say anything, he said, via NJ.com. “He’s nervous, he doesn’t feel well, that’s not what he wants.

“I really would rather go in and just have a conversation or have a talk or see if I can lift his spirits and get him to laugh. If he’s excited—if he is Giants fan or fan of me, let him show that excitement rather than be nervous for that environment.”

Manning has received his fair share of criticism at times — despite winning two Super Bowls — for his play on the field. But he deserves all the credit fans can muster for the character and class he shows off of it.