By Tadi Abedje
On the latest episode of Listen In With KNN on Fox Sports 1340AM, host Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed former National Football League (NFL) defensive end and College Football Hall of Famer Art Still to the show.
Speaking on his upbringing, Still reflected on his experiences growing up in Camden, N.J. “Economically, things were somewhat deprived but the only way of getting out of Camden for a lot of the fellas that participated in sports was using our athletic ability,” he said. “I had the opportunity to play basketball and football there (Camden High School) and got a scholarship to the University of Kentucky in 1974. I took advantage of that in the fast minute.”
Still attended the University of Kentucky from 1974 to 1977. This was a time when the university was not known for their football team. During his junior year, the team went 9-3 and Still led them to a Peach Bowl title. Kentucky continued the momentum in his senior year, when they went 10-1. He was also named Consensus All American that same season.
“I had the opportunity to play with some great ball players, going to a great school and getting an education. At the same time developed some good relationships not only on the sports side of things but a lot of folks. What I learned is you can’t judge people by shade of color or money, you treat them the way you want to be treated.”
In 1978, Still was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the second overall pick where he played 10 seasons. He was a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Chiefs Most Valuable Player. He then spent his last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. During his professional career, he learned an important life lesson in financial literacy.
“There’s a lot of folks like myself that come out from an environment where people treating you right, sometimes you can’t see around the corner where they’re coming from,” Still said. “You treat people the way you want to treat and sometimes people take advantage.”
As a result, he created a program called Still 4 Life that strengthens “the lives of people by sharing, researching and developing game plans to achieve your highest score in this game of LIFE.” Through various education initiatives, the program aims to encourage people of all ages to make the most informed decisions for any aspect of life.
“The way the system is set up is that they want you to buy everything and the system wants to own you. That’s why we came up with the financial health because if you’re in financial problems, you can’t sleep at night. Financial situations where you’re getting ready to take your house or evicted from a place. That’s going to affect your relationship with your partner, kids and those around you.”
By providing these initiatives, Still is utilizing his knowledge and resources in order to give back to and uplift his community.