Male Professional Athlete of the Year
Year Honored: 2016
In 2015 former University of Tennessee Volunteer All-American and current Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry showed the world the definition of courage and determination while in the middle of chemotherapy treatments facing an uncertain NFL future. Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014, Berry immediately left the Chiefs to begin treatment at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta. He continued to work out during those treatments and was declared cancer free last summer, shortly before reporting to training camp. The Chiefs tried to ease Berry back to work, but he was participating in full-contact drills by early August and back in the starting lineup in Week 2. He made his first interception in Week 7. Berry posted 61 tackles (55 solos), two interceptions and 10 passes defended during the 2015 regular season. His impressive season earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, the AP All-Pro team, and was named the 2016 AP Comeback Player of the Year.