The Hampton Roads Sports Commission (HRSC) premiered the first episode of SportsTalk 757 on August 27th featuring special guest Don Carey. HRSC is an affiliate of the Hampton Roads Chamber. We work to be an inspiring ignitor, impactful advocate, powerful economic partner, and regional collaborator. Hosted by Claudell Clark, the Executive Director of HRSC, SportsTalk 757 is a web series dedicated to highlighting the sports, players, coaches, and managers of Hampton Roads.
Clark began the first episode by addressing the mission of the Hampton Roads Sports Commission and how important SportsTalk 757 is during a time when traditional programming is not possible. “At HRSC we are looking to further our mission while still following CDC guidelines. This web series allows us to use this platform to still promote sports in our region” said Clark.
SportsTalk 757 was proud to welcome Don Carey as the first guest. Carey is currently a Chesapeake City Councilman, but is most known for his career in football. Carey began his football career at Booker T Washington High School in Norfolk, VA before moving on to play for Norfolk State University. “NSU represented possibilities that no one in my immediate family had been able to take advantage of. When I had the opportunity to play for NSU I was so excited to play the sport that I loved and get my college degree” said Carey. After NSU, Carey spent seven years playing for the Detroit Lions, and three years playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
When asked how Carey was able to have such a long career in the NFL, Carey attributed his success on and off the field to the positive male role models in his life. “Having great coaches and great men in my life [helped me succeed]. These are individuals I’d run through a brick wall for. They cared about me not only as a player but as a man. They cared about my success both on and off the field.” Carey stressed that this support helped him as he transitioned out of his NFL career. Because of the positive role men held in his life, Carey’s goal was to be that same role model for youth. This desire led him and his wife LaKeisha to start REECH, a non-profit dedicated to providing students with the opportunity for academic achievement and exposure to diverse areas through hands-on, innovative programs.
Clark then asked Carey to address the young viewers and offer them advice on transitioning out of playing their sport, whether it’s after high school, college, or a professional setting. Carey opened up about the hardships he felt when he first retired. “The night I stopped playing I cried like a baby. I was now leaving the longest relationship in my life. Making it requires so much time, emotional and physical energy , and the moment you stop playing there’s going to be a gaping hole in your life”. Carey wanted the viewers to know that it’s okay to grieve that part of your life ending, but it’s important to have something in place for yourself to make the transition out of sports smoother.
For Carey, that transition was made easier by focusing on his family, something he recommends focusing on during this pandemic. His desire to stay active in his community led him to City Council where he promises to be the best he can for the city of Chesapeake. He also wanted everyone watching to know that he will do what he can to be the best advocate of sports for the Hampton Roads region.
Carey’s parting words were wishing everyone a safe rest of 2020, and to stay positive for 2021, and when it’s safe, be a part of your community. “If I can inspire anyone to take this opportunity to be involved with your family, and just BE. Take advantage of this time to build on qualities of strong families. It’ll be beneficial when we get back to the hustle and bustle of life.”
This concluded the very first episode of SportsTalk 757. The Hampton Roads Sports Commission would like to thank corporate partners Optima Health, the Children's Hospital Of The King's Daughters (CHKD), and Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group for their support of this program.