Falcons’ Cannon wins Salute to Service Award

Steve Cannon, CEO of Arthur Blank’s group of businesses, speaks during a digital conference on cashless stadiums Friday.
Steve Cannon, CEO of Arthur Blank’s group of businesses, speaks during a digital conference on cashless stadiums Friday.

Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Falcons, won the 2020 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA on Wednesday.

The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community. Cannon will be recognized during the NFL Honors program Saturday.

“It’s means the world to me because of my military background and service to country,” Cannon said. “It means an awful, awful lot. Here I find myself connected to powerful and amazing platforms that allow you to kind of get the word out and shine a spotlight on service and sacrifice.

Cannon becomes the fourth member of the organization to win the over over the past five years. He joins Ben Garland (2018), Andre Roberts (2016) and Dan Quinn (2015) as winners. Last season, San Diego’s Donnie Edwards was the winner.

“I’m just thrilled that the Falcons have been just such a model across all of sports when it comes to honoring and giving back to the military,” Cannon said. “Service is a big deal for us.”

USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in Cannon’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL Foundation will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to Cannon’s military charity of choice and Atlanta Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, also will match with a $25,000 donation from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

“That’s the power of the spotlight,” Cannon said. “When you tell stories about people out on the front line serving on our behalf, then all of sudden people get interested and money flows for causes.”

Cannon will use the funds for a charity that he founded, the Johnny Mac Soldier’s fund.

“We provide college scholarships for the children of the fallen,” Cannon said. “Those kids who’s parents have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. For the last six years, we’ve been honoring a class mate of mine’s, John McHugh, Johnny Mac, who was killed in Afghanistan and so this helps those efforts.”

Cannon graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986, was Airborne Ranger qualified and served as a 1st Lieutenant in West Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. During his time in the Army, he also served five years as an artillery officer.

“Just grateful and privileged that we continue to demonstrate as a franchise that we care about community,” Cannon said. “That we care about our military and this is another data point that supports that.”

The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA’s year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. Fans can join the NFL and USAA in honoring the military community by visiting NFL.com/Salute.

NFL Network draft Bucky Brooks released his Mock Draft 1.0 and has the Falcons selecting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. He has Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields going second overall to the New York Jets.

Bucky’s picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. New York Jets - Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

3. Miami Dolphins (via Houston) - Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU

4. Falcons - Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

5. Cincinnati Bengals - Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon

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