FOXBORO (CBS) — Two-time team captain and two-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater became the 11th player to receive the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award on Tuesday evening.
Patriots Chairman Robert Kraft presented the award to Slater.
“We knew the day that we drafted Matthew that he was going to be special,” said Kraft. “He has contributed on offense, defense and is the captain of our special teams. He is consistently one of the most active players in the community and is always eager to volunteer. Matthew has an engaging personality and is generous with time to help our community.”
“To be up here on stage with the Burton family, who I’ve had a good relationship over the last years and a lot of guys I’ve looked up to over my career, it’s truly humbling,” said Slater.
Slater said the Kraft’s generosity and the stress he and his family place on giving back as his inspiration to help in the community.
“He’s the captain of our ship, and he’s doing a great job steering it,” said Slater.
Slater is entering his sixth NFL season after joining the Patriots in 2008 as a fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA.
Slater has regularly participated in the team’s community Tuesday events.
According to the Patriots, Slater was an ambassador during the team’s Celebrate Volunteerism campaign, making visits with teammates to recognize deserving volunteers in conjunction with each week’s volunteerism theme.
Slater is a regular at school visits, participating in the Play 60 initiatives and at each of the Patriots Holiday events.
Slater was one of the dozens of players to travel to Newtown, Conn. to lead the organization’s Football for You football clinic in a town recovering from a horrible tragedy.