Catching up with Former Player Reps: Pete Kendall
Pete Kendall spent 13 seasons in the league with the Seahawks, Cardinals, Jets, and Redskins. The guard served five years as a player representative, fighting for his fellow teammates’ rights, and other players’ rights as well. Pete Kendall looks back on his time playing, serving, and the experiences after the game with us.
Q: What is your current career?
A: I am in sales – I sell equity research to institutional money managers and hedge funds.
Q: How would you describe your experience leaving the game?
A: Probably not as difficult as it was for some, but not necessarily easy for me either.
Q: What was the impact of the player reps during your era?
A: I will say being involved with the union probably helped me prepare for post football. There were so many programs that the union and the league had put together to help people, but also you’re sort of forced to deal with the reality that eventually we’re all going to be former players. So just talking through the issues that impacted other players and the steps that the union sometimes had to take to intervene, I think got my mind working in the proper direction.
Q: How has being a player rep impacted you personally?
A: It was a very beneficial experience for me. It forced me to think critically, to prioritize – not only what I wanted as an individual, but also what my teammates told me what their priorities where. Then trying to figure out where those fit and understanding, too, that the other side of the table has input about what goes on as well.
Q: What was your favorite meeting sight?
A: I think with the one exception of Macro Island, they were all in Maui. No offense to Marco Island, but Maui was terrific.
Q: What advice would you give to current players?
A: I think it’s never too early for current players to start thinking about being a former player. To take steps to prepare to transition and that’s a host of things – continuing education, finding something that you’re passionate outside of football, and live well below your means. If my son were about to enter into his rookie year, those would be the three things I would really reinforce to him.
Q: Have you taken advantage of any of the services of the PA since retirement?
A: I went to my first retired players meeting this year, and I joined the PAF this year. I did some of the continuing education [years ago] as well.
Q: Can you recall a memorable story of your time as a player rep?
A: Probably the biggest moment was after Gene [Upshaw] passed and DeMaurice [Smith] being elected – that was probably the most important thing that the players did while I was an active player. I was involved in the most recent round of collective bargaining and I wasn’t an active player at that point. Those two were probably the biggest things that I was a part of.
Q: Do you have children, and are they interested in sports?
A: I have Peter, Madison, and Andrew. Both of my boys play football; my oldest boy is going to University of Pennsylvania to play football, he’s a freshman.
Q: How has the leadership position of being a player rep helped you be a father?
A: I hope so – as a player rep, it forces you at a relatively young age to think longer term. I was a father in my mid 20’s – that was about the time I got involved as a rep with the PA. I think it can help give you a better perspective than what you might otherwise have because the retired players are not only a topic of conversation, but they’re present and you see those guys and realize father time waits for no one and eventually you’re going to be there. Being able to have that perspective and knowing how time passes is, I think, critical to being a parent. Understanding where your kid is in their life and helping them understand where they’re going to be; hopefully help them figure out what they’re going to do.