Seahawks Tyler Lockett is one of the better angels of our nature

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

For the second year in a row, the Seahawks’ nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is Tyler Lockett. But for the rest of forever, Lockett will simply make the rest of humanity better. Lockett is an all-time great player but an even better person.

Lockett is just complete class. On the field, he has never had an off-ball penalty like unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness. That’s one reason it was a bit shocking to see Lockett get into arguments at times with Rams players in Week 13. But 12s know what was really going on: The Rams were trying to be bullies and Lockett wasn’t going to take it.

Off the field is where Lockett makes the most difference, though. Football is entertainment and players get paid pretty well to do what they do, but what they do in their free time, just like the rest of us, is where true value comes in. And Lockett’s off-the-field work is almost too much to account for. Here are two examples.

Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett is an all-time great off the field too

He is constantly finding ways to give back to his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, including running the Light-It-Up Foundation which simply does too many things in so many ways to help so many people. But Lockett doesn’t just stick to good deeds in Tulsa. Lockett also helped pay off students’ lunch debts in the Renton, Washington school district this year.

It is easy to admire players. We are entertained by them and spend good money finding ways to watch them. Sports let us leave some of the issues with daily life behind and allow us to focus on something else for a few hours. Sports aren’t truly real-life but they can still bring joy. They should anyway, otherwise what is the point?

Lockett on the field is constantly inching up Seahawks record books. He is currently on a five-game streak where he catches a pass for a touchdown and this is tied for the franchise record. He’s third all-time in receiving yards (6,903), second in touchdown receptions (52), third in receptions (515), and he’s likely to have his fourth-straight 1,000-plus yard receiving season in 2022.

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But in 20 years, will all that truly matter? Maybe. But only in the realm of statistics and trivia questions. What’s really important is that in 20 years when Lockett is long done playing, he will probably still be making a more important difference in communities across the country. That is Lockett’s true value and why he should always be remembered fondly for having played with the Seahawks.