Bengals TE Hayden Hurst is a finalist for the Salute to Service Award

Bengals, Hayden Hurst
Bengals, Hayden Hurst / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst has been proving his worth on and off the field. Now, he is a finalist for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. This is thanks to his relentless work in the community and, in part, thanks to the Bengals’ fanbase.

Extremely personal for the Hayden Hurst family

Unfortunately, Hurst and his family know firsthand what grappling with mental health issues can lead to. Hurst has family members who sadly took their own life. He has also been open about his own struggles in the past.

This is why Hurst, to shed light on and de-stigmatize mental health problems, has been open about how it has affected not only him but his entire family. 

In this video from two years ago, the Hurst family talks about why these issues are so important and personal to them.

Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can affect us and the people we love. By discussing it, the Hurst family is playing their part in normalizing conversations about these issues. 

Bengals fans show up and show out for Hayden Hurst

Fans of the Bengals have made their presence felt on and off the field. From the compassion they showed for Damar Hamlin to making away games feel like home, Cincinnati fans have been incredible all season. That's why it is no surprise that, when asked to vote for Hurst, they showed up in a big way. 

This year was the first time fans were allowed to play a part in who gets to be a finalist. Bengals fans, once again, did not disappoint. What started as 32 is now three. Hurst is joined by 49ers tight end George Kittle and Commanders' head coach Ron Rivera as the finalists for the Salute to Service award.

Bengals fans played their part in getting Hurst this far, but it does not need to end there. If you want to know more about the work he is doing to support our current and former service members and their families while also illuminating and taking on mental health challenges in children, you can visit The Hayden Hurst Family Foundation

Everyone involved is a winner

The finalists were determined by the fan vote, along with the USAA and an NFL committee. The Salute to Service Award winner, presented by USAA, will be announced Thursday, Feb. 9 at 9 pm on NBC, Peacock, and the NFL Network.

The recipient will earn the title of Salute to Service winner and a $25,000 contribution to organizations representing each military branch in their name. The NFL has also pledged $25,000 for the winner’s military charity of their choice.

The final decision is now in the hands of a panel of judges as to who will take home the honors, but no matter what happens, Hurst, along with the other 31 nominees, are winners for all they do to bring awareness and support to our servicemen and servicewomen, active and retired. 

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Congratulations and keep up the excellent work Mr. Hurst! For more information on the NFL’s initiative, you can visit this link.

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