Retired New York Jets’ QB Walter Briggs overcame a lot of challenges he faced as a football player and in life in general, but stayed positive.”When I landed with the New York Jets in 1987, there were some racial barriers that still needed to be hurdled. It was five African American quarterbacks at that time and it was a lot of negative criticism that came with being African American, but as the confident person that I was, I did not let it affect me. I was a flamboyant character and that was my strength. I used it as a positive tool to help me get through the good times, as well as the bad”
Another obstacle that Briggs had to overcome was himself.
“I was very colorful person and I did not take any stuff. I am a blunt person that does not beat around the corners. I had to look at myself and realize that I could use my platform in a more positive way. Later on in life, I started some foundations and started helping people out. My foundation Hands & Hearts That Care is a foundation where I give back to individuals. Each month we give away a car to someone that has applied on the website and has been randomly selected. It is a great way to help spread the joy of smiles around. I was blessed with my career, so why not help others.”
Briggs is a motivational speaker and has encouraged a lot of people to remain positive even when they are going through their trials. “You have to understand that things will happen out of your control, but you have to be motivated to keep moving forward. The past is the past and you can not grow unless you learn from it. It is a reflection of what you used to be and not what you are.” “Football was my career, but my purpose is bigger than football. It is to help motivate people and let them know that you can reach your dreams by staying devoted, learning as much as you can, because knowledge is power and understanding that hard work will pay. You have to pay your dues in order to get where you need to be.”
Briggs is writing a book very soon and the book will be about his marriage, dealing with his ex-wife who had ALS, the up and down battle with being in the NFL, the hits that he took, health, and more importantly using his platform in a positive way to help others.
“I really never got to tell my side of things and the obstacles that I had to overcome, so I am pretty happy that I can finally tell my side of the story.”
Briggs’ purpose was to live life the way that he wanted with a foundation of faith. “Having faith was something that helped me out when certain situations happened. You have to believe that you are here on earth with a purpose and just stay mindful that being positive is the best love you can give anybody.”