Donte Stallworth’s story is one of constant attempts for redemption and getting his life back on track. Around six years ago, Stallworth had a pretty promising career in the NFL, having just signed a pretty lucrative deal with the Cleveland Browns and performing well in training camp. Yet almost a year later, this all came crashing down around him as he received his sentence for killing 59 year old Mario Reyes while driving intoxicated one fateful night.
From the beginning he has fully owned up to his faults, accepting full blame for the incident, dutifully completing his jail sentence and settling with the victim’s family for an undisclosed amount outside of the court room – an amount that basically caused him to lose all he had earned up to that point, including forcing him to sell the house he bought for his mother in order to use the money.
Fast forward to today and Stallworth is attempting to move forward into the next phase of his life as a media analyst. Yet contrary to what many may expect of a 34 year old professional athlete retiree, he will not be seen on ESPN as a sports analyst or broadcaster. Instead, he will be seen in HuffingtonPost.com as a fellow, providing his analysis and commentary on a far less glamorous field, politics.
When asked about their decision, Ryan Grim, Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, responded that “Donte has a quick mind, an insatiable curiosity and a passion for politics – the necessary qualities for a great journalist.”
While the public has mixed feelings, ranging from complete indifference from those who couldn’t care less about politics in the first place, to those supportive of the progressive hire to those who feel it is just a publicity stunt and the position should have gone to someone more…”qualified”, it remains to be seen how Stallworth performs in his biggest role since the NFL.
We love seeing former athletes take less common roads and broaden their horizons outside of the sports industry. We can’t wait to see how he delivers and hope he provides current athletes with an example of how to use your intellect and business prowess to ensure you have a career post athletics.