Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft presented Slater with the award, which is named in honor of the late Ron Burton, the first player drafted by the team and a community leader whose widespread charitable work was a model for how a Patriots player can make an impact off the field.
"We knew the day that we drafted Matthew that he was going to be special," said Kraft. "He has contributed on offense, defense and is the captain of our special teams. He is consistently one of the most active players in the community and is always eager to volunteer. Matthew has an engaging personality and is generous with time to help our community."
Slater immediately became one of the team's most active community participants. In five seasons as a Patriot, he has regularly participated in the team's community Tuesday events (the players' only off day each week). Last season, he was an ambassador during the team's Celebrate Volunteerism campaign, making visits with teammates to recognize deserving volunteers in conjunction with each week's volunteerism theme. Slater is a regular at school visits, participating in the Play 60 initiatives and at each of the Patriots Holiday events. This past spring, he was one of the dozens of players to travel to Newtown, Conn. to lead the organization's Football for You football clinic in a town recovering from a horrible tragedy.
Slater joins a select group of Patriots players to receive the Ron Burton Award. Past recipients are Joe Andruzzi (2003), Troy Brown (2004), Matt Light (2005), Jarvis Green (2006), Ty Warren (2007), Larry Izzo (2008), Kevin Faulk (2009),