Major Wright rose from a challenging childhood in a gang- riddled Ft. Lauderdale, FL neighborhood to help lead the Florida Gators to the 2008 College Football Championship as a hard-hitting safety. After a seven-year NFL career with the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he struggled financially and mentally to the point of considering suicide.
Here he shares his equally hard-hitting story of redemption, which includes establishing The Wright Way Foundation and its Mr. Good Deed Tuesday character and campaign to teach kids kindness. Highlights include:
:53 How football moved Major from a troubled neighborhood to football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School. “We had gun violence and drugs being sold across the street…a lot of gang stuff. Going to St. Thomas Aquinas was like going to a foreign country.”
5:29 The genesis of The Wright Way Foundation. “Two years removed from the NFL, I went completely broke. At one point I almost committed suicide.” Then, an encounter with a homeless person helped put Major on a better path, performing random acts of kindness that eventually grew into establishing his foundation and a curriculum that “makes kind be cool” for kids.
10:45 Instagram video of Major’s program in action, including his high-energy school assembly presentation style. “That energy comes from me once being a kid, sitting down in those rows. I give kids the energy that I would want given to me. I know these kids want to have fun.”
15:37 How Major’s program impacted one child who also contemplated suicide.
16:58 Additional details about how the Mr. Good Deed Tuesday program works.
21:07 The role of fitness as an underpinning to Major’s program.