MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Former Miami Dolphin and “Dancing with the Stars” finalist Jason Taylor received a special honor Tuesday morning.
The Miami-Dade Commission declared January 24th as “Jason Taylor Day.”
“Jason Taylor has been an exemplary citizen, both on and off the field,” said commission Chairman Joe Martinez. “This is just a small token to show him how much Miami appreciates his career and efforts to make our community a better place.”
During the ceremony, Taylor took time to sign autographs for a group of Miami Norland High School’s varsity football team which was honored earlier in the morning for being Class 5A State Champions.
“Congratulations to Miami Norland High School for winning the championship this year,” told the team.
Taylor is known for giving back to his community. In 2004, he established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a non-profit organization which supports and creates programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s underprivileged children.
Since its inception, the Jason Taylor Foundation has contributed more than $2 million in programs and services to more than 40 different organizations, awarded 35 middle school students college scholarships, and annually given 50 kids $300 back-to-school shopping sprees.
Taylor said he knows from experience about the importance of helping others.
“To have the chance to give back to somebody else, to affect somebody else’s life in positive way, said Taylor. “I remember being on the other side of the tracks, so to speak, and needing help and needing guidance and needing someone to put their arm around you to show that they care. I know it goes a long way.”
Taylor, a defensive lineman for the Dolphins, retired at the end of the 2011 season. Of his 15 year career in the NFL, Taylor spent 13 seasons in a Dolphins uniform. Drafted by the Fins in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Taylor has been a Pro Bowl selection six times and in 2006 was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Taylor has also scored more fumble returns for touchdowns (nine) than any other defensive linemen.
During his career Taylor also played with the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets.
In addition to being a four-time All-Pro, Taylor also received the 2007 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the only league honor that recognizes both on-field achievements and off-the-field contributions.
Taylor appeared on season six of “Dancing with the Stars” where he and his partner Edyta Sliwinska made it to the finals but lost to Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas.