NFL Super Bowl Champion, Kyle Arrington, has left the field in pursuit of new opportunities; in leadership, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, and the list continue to grow.
Back in 2016, Arrington was placed on injured reserve after suffering a concussion during the Baltimore Ravens and Panthers game, which made him miss an entire season, according to cbssports.com. After self-reflecting, he ultimately made a decision that would change the course of his life that would bring about service and inspiration.
“As fun of a profession and great of an experience that it was to play in the NFL, for a lot of players, there comes a time when they must ask themselves; when does the risk outweigh the reward? For me, that’s what it essentially came down to,” said Arrington.
The most difficult part for Arrington to come to terms with was, he still had some great football left in him. Football was a huge part of almost two-thirds of his entire life. Making the decision to step off the field for good did not come lightly.
“Everyone has a plan until they get smacked in the face,” Arrington said jokingly, “But you heard the saying, we make plans and God laughs,” said Arrington,
Arrington is a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and he’s right where he’s supposed to be at this moment in time. He majored in Mass Media at Hofstra University. The original plan was for him to transition into a commentator, broadcaster, or analyst position, post-football career. But ultimately, he put his knowledge, resources, efforts, and faith back into where it all began, Prince George’s County, MD.
Arrington and his wife, Vashonda, started a non-profit called Evolve Foundation, with an emphasis on youth development and empowerment. The organization focuses on creating opportunities, experiences, and environments of excellence for adolescents. To learn more about the efforts of this foundation, visit their website at www.theevolvefoundation.org.
“This community knows what it means to me and will always hold a special place in my heart. And even though the bulk of our efforts take place in Prince George’s County, it’s about answering the call, wherever that call may be,” said Arrington.
Having played at the highest level of football for almost a decade, Arrington’s new goal is to transcend what he was able to accomplish on the field, to now off of it. Although his passion and love for the game remain at an all-time high, it’s a new game plan he’s looking to put together. From the very beginning, Arrington recognized the support, the investment, and the sacrifice his family, friends, teachers, and coaches have made for him to be where he is, and more importantly, who he is. So, for him, it’s not as much as it is about giving back, but rather paying it forward.
Arrington worked his way from practice squad player in 2009 to one of the top players at his position. He may not be a defender on the field anymore, but he sure is defending his family and community by taking on the next chapter of his life head-on. He recently wrote his first book “Piece It, Together!”, aimed at children and designed to encourage teamwork, togetherness, and unity.
“Greatness means different things to different people, but to achieve whatever your definition of greatness is, you can’t go at it alone. Also, within the book, there is an incorporation of STEM, which are the kind of toys the main characters are using to create their designs,” said Arrington.
Arrington wants the younger generation to know, working together is what it takes to accomplish a dream and to know they are not alone. Not only for children but for adults to understand as well.
“Individually, you can go fast; but together, we can go far,” said Arrington.
Not only is he inspiring his community to be the best versions of themselves, but showing it in his new feature film HIGH SCHOOL BULLY, produced and directed by Anthony Hackett of SONset Friday Entertainment. YES! Kyle Arrington added acting to his resumé. Arrington plays Marshall, a personal trainer, and defender of bullying.
“For his first time acting, he played his character phenomenally,” said Hackett.
For more updates and information on the upcoming film, follow the SONset Friday Entertainment Facebook page at High School Bully and Instagram @sonsetfriday.
“I felt this was an amazing script, with a talented writer and director and with a message that needed to be told. And yes, they did provide me with an acting coach to make sure I didn’t ruin the project,” said Arrington sarcastically. “I think what it came down to, was the opportunity to be a part of something truly special.”
Arrington displayed bullying should not be accepted by anybody. For him, participating in the film brought back memories where he himself at times, was picked on as a kid.
“But If I’m being completely transparent, like a lot of kids, I did a little name-calling myself. I felt it was my way of deflecting some of my own insecurities, you know?”
He confesses, neither situations were enjoyable nor proud moments. He now advocates for children who are under the pressure of bullying.
“There will be challenges, obstacles, and even people we’ll have to overcome throughout our lifetime. It’s important to learn at an early age, especially, to believe in ourselves. So that means at times, having to stand up for ourselves. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping a problem goes away, in my opinion, is never the answer. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning violence because it should never be an option, but I do think exuding confidence is a very important first step,” said Arrington.
Arrington encourages children to equip themselves with a certain armor, and that is, to not let people or obstacles determine nor validate their self-worth. Building and having confidence is the first step to self-defense.
With the continuous uprising of his success, Arrington continues to make time for his family. He understands what is important and prioritizes the one thing that keeps him motivated, centered, and in his words, “out of this world!”
“If things aren’t right at home or within, you carry that energy out into the world, knowingly or unknowingly. So, my first priority is my family. Their happiness and support gives me the strength and energy I need to be the best version of myself,” said Arrington.
Arrington shows his compassion for service and inspiration through the use of a healthy mindset. It starts with daily interactions. The conversations he has can change someone’s day, outlook, and who knows, trajectory in life. He will never put on a facade and act like he’s perfect.
“I have my days of frustration, just like the next person. But I think that’s when it becomes even more important, to understand and recognize that negative energy and channel it to become something positive,” said Arrington.
Arrington’s team, as well as foundation, has been blessed to have impacted other communities and even states outside the DMV area. To keep up to date on Kyle Arrington and the difference he is making within his family and community, you can find him and his non-profit on Instagram respectively @arr2four and @the_evolvefoundation. To purchase your copy of his new children’s book “Piece it, Together!”, visit https://arr24.com. And be on the lookout for his new movie, “High School Bully”; premiering later this year.