Catching Up with Former Player Rep: Major Wright
We had the opportunity to interview former NFLPA Player Representative Major Wright. Major played for the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We discussed his career as an author, his upcoming comic book, and reflected on his time in the NFL.
What is your current career?
I'm actually an author. I’m really into this author world, this publishing world and also the giving-back world. I have my foundation called the Wright Way, where we're tackling poverty and helping kids by providing care for them. We're providing services and resources for single parents.
Right now, my biggest project is Good Deed Tuesday. My character is Mr. GDT and every Tuesday he goes out into the community and he activates his powers by doing good deeds. For every good deed he does, something good happens in his life. We are trying to support kids and get them to understand that you have to love, you have to care, you have to show gratitude for other people because you never know when you may need that same energy from somebody else.
How did you become interested in writing?
It's so crazy because I've never been a writer, I've never been a reader; like I hated both. I was having a great conversation with my girlfriend, uplifting each other, and she said ‘Major, I think you should write a book.’ At that time, I was reading the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell and he mentioned in his book that if you want to do something then you need to act on it now or else it’ll never happen. So, I took the opportunity to say, let me try it. It is something new, I've never done it before, I know nothing about this, but I want to do this. I put it upon myself to be intentional about that.
We got off the phone at 1:30 in the morning and I grabbed a notepad and pen and went up to my bedroom and started naming the chapters I wanted to talk about in my book. From that day, it just started getting better and better and better.
What inspired you to write a comic book?
I have a friend, Allison, she's a teacher and she has a book that she is trying to publish, she wants to use my publishing company to publish her book. So, in the midst of me helping her, she said ‘Hey Major, you need to write a children's book. I know you have your book, which is great, but you need a children's book because now you're able to tap into a key audience and affect change.’
I didn't know what I wanted to talk about in my children’s book. I thought maybe I should do a football children's book because that's what I'm known for. But is that going to impact them for the rest of their lives? So, since I've been doing good deeds, we can make a character out of the good deeds that I’ve been doing. I think good deeds will be more of an impact on the world rather than a few kids taking the lessons from football here and there. I wanted to be able to impact the world instead of just a few kids.
What was your experience being an NFLPA Player Representative and what were those responsibilities like?
It was phenomenal. It was amazing. It was an experience that I wish every kid could experience because you meet so many people and so many opportunities come about. You get to impact a lot of people. It's just an amazing experience. I wish everyone could experience that feeling, my time in the league was amazing. I loved it.
What are some of the leadership skills you learned from playing football?
I think like my biggest takeaway from the NFL is discipline. You have to be disciplined because we have so many distractions in life, so how are you able to narrow it down and stay focused on your main goal? Being disciplined is what does that.
What was your experience leaving the game like?
It was rough. It was probably one of the lowest parts of my life at the time, it was bad for me. Thinking about it, it wasn't a smooth transition. It was rough trying to figure out what's next. What can I be great at? You know, what fits my personality? Who is Major? Because my identity was football. Every time we talk about Major, you talk about something Major did in football. So it made it so much more difficult for me to transition out of football because that became my identity and it became who I was, and it didn't make it easy. It was pretty rough; it was pretty bad. Just trying to figure it out each and every day, understanding what you’re going to do. I woke up every day asked myself, ‘What am I going to do to better myself? How am I going to get better?’
What was one piece of advice you wish you knew during your career transition?
I would say understand the connections that you make, the resources that you have, and be able to capitalize on all of the resources that we have while you’re playing and not just when you’re done. While playing, make these connections with people because when you get done, it makes your transition so much easier. If you planted a seed over here, over there and over there, now all you have to do is go back and continue to just water these seeds and they will continue to grow with these relationships and these connections. And those are what help you make that transition so much smoother.