KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The NFL Players Association honored Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill with its weekly Community MVP award on Friday, and for Hill the recognition marks the last chapter in what his changing life off the football field.
“It shows what God can do,” Hill said. “He can take a young man and transform him. He can transform him into a positive role model, a positive influence in the community.”
The NFLPA specifically recognized Hill for his volunteer work with the Hope WRX food pantry. The pantry serves between 700 to 800 families per month. Hill earlier this month helped visitors to the pantry bag groceries and spoke with families as helped them load their cars.
That gave him a chance to use the skills he learned bagging groceries at Kroger's during high school back in his hometown of Pearson, Ga.
“I used to be real cool at it,” Hill said.
When the Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, very few saw likely saw this moment coming. Many fans on draft day expressed disappointment the Chiefs selected Hill, who pleaded guilty to felony domestic assault and battery stemming from his arrest in December 2014. The charges led to his dismissal from the Oklahoma State football program.
An Oklahoma court dismissed and expunged his conviction in August after Hill completed his probation requirements.
Hill expressed his regret for the incident and professed an interest in becoming involved in the community upon his arrival in Kansas City.
“I'm just blessed to be in the position I'm in,” Hill said. “The Chiefs obviously gave me an opportunity, so I'm going to use my platform each and every day to change lives.”
Hill has supported other programs and events in both Kansas City and Pearson. He launched the Tyreek Hill Foundation to support programs for single-parent families and at-risk youths through education, wellness and fitness. Last fall he helped distribute turkeys and chickens to 185 families during the Thanksgiving holiday. Back home in Georgia he hosted a free football camp for 165 youth players.
“It's obviously a blessing just to be able to use my platform to give back to others,” Hill said.
The award comes at time when other changes have taken place in his life off the field. Hill became engaged earlier this month to the mother of his son. That milestone in his life brings an inner peace.
“Everything feels good, everything's in order,” Hill said, “I'm playing well, my family is great, my family is amazing, I have a great support system, so everything is well for me right now.”
Having his family together with him in Kansas City also makes it possible for him to fulfill a promise he made made when be became a father.
“I enjoy going home each and every day because every day is a challenge for me,” Hill said. “I'm stepping up another notch because I'm trying to be a great father, not only a great football player but a tremendous father to my son because I want him grow up and be better than I was.
Hill became the second Chiefs player in as many weeks to receive the NFLPA Community MVP Award. Tight end Travis Kelce received the honor last week.
The NFLPA will make a $10,000 contribution to the charity or foundation of Hill's choice as part of the Community MVP award. Forever Collectible will also produced a limited-edition bobblehead with proceeds going to the organization of Hill's choice.
The award also makes both Hill and Kelce eligible for the Alan Page Community Award, which is presented each year recognizing players for outstanding contributions to the community.