Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi has been named the Pittsburgh Steelers’ nominee for the ninth annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
Ogunjobi joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2022 and has become a crucial member of the team’s defensive line and a veteran presence in the locker room.
“I love the sport,” Ogunjobi said to Steelers.com. “I love everything about it. Football has opened so many doors for me, allowed me to do so many things, helped so many people. I owe this game a lot, so I don’t take it for granted.”
Each NFL club recommends one player who exhibits on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition. The award was created in 2014 to honor Art Rooney Sr., the founder of the Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Sportsmanship is the core of the game, the vanguard of public confidence, the keeper of game integrity,” Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations said in a press release. “These Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees exemplify the spirit of fair play and the values of respect, integrity, commitment to team and resiliency at the highest level of competition.”
Eight finalists, four in each conference, will be selected by members of the NFL Legends Community for the award. Current players will have the final say when the eight appear on their Pro Bowl Games ballot.
Alex Highsmith was the Steelers’ nominee for the award in 2022. Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Heyward and James Conner have also been nominated in recent years. While the award is named after “The Chief,” it has yet to be won by a Steelers player since its creation in 2014.
The winner of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award will be announced during the NFL Honors ceremony, and a $25,000 donation will be made to the charity of their choice.
Pittsburgh Steelers Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Nominees
2023 DT Larry Ogunjobi
2022 OLB Alex Highsmith
2021 QB Ben Roethlisberger
2020 DT Cam Heyward
2019 RB James Conner
2018 OG David DeCastro
2017 DT Cam Heyward
2016 OLB Arthur Moats
2015 CB William Gay
Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award Winners
2022 Baltimore Ravens DE Calais Campbell
2021 New England Patriots ST Matthew Slater
2020 Carolina Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater
2019 Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson
2018 New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees
2017 Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly
2016 Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore
2015 Oakland Raiders DB Charles Woodson
2014 Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald