There’s no boxing in a good wide receiver.
In his second act, former NFL player and New England Patriots wideout Donté Stallworth is joining the Huffington Post as a politics fellow covering national security.
It’s the pivot from NFL veteran and coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens to the Huffington Post’s politics team that’s throwing skeptics for a curve.
In 10 years in the NFL — with six different teams, including two stints in New England — Stallworth was known as the deep threat wide receiver with an affable demeanor. But as his career in the NFL began to wind down, he became a prolific voice on social media, namely Twitter, for his commentary on day-to-day social issues. His views on social and foreign issues has only expanded since his last NFL game in 2012.
In August, Stallworth peppered his followers with thoughts on Ferguson, Mo., and the shooting death of Michael Brown while keeping his eyes on ISIL.
As new developments unfold, it's important to remember while Mike Brown was suspected of robbery, (as of now) it doesn't justify his murder.— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) August 15, 2014
Is it more a story that he's a rapper (and a wack one at that), or that close to 500 Brits & 100 Americans are alleged to be apart of ISIS?— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) August 25, 2014
He’s also had low points, revealing himself to be a 9/11 truther in 2009. That’s something he sought to clarify in tweets Thursday after news spread of his fellowship.
Just to be clear, I no longer feel the way I did in that tweet 5 years ago.— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) September 4, 2014
After a lot of reading and researching on it, my views changed... and that's ok.— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) September 4, 2014
Credit goes to James Bamford, whose great book disabused me of that stuff and showed what a disastrous intelligence failure 9/11 was.— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) September 4, 2014
Of course, Stallworth will always be known for his 2009 DUI in Miami that resulted in the death of 59-year-old Mario Reyes. He was charged with DUI manslaughter, served 30 days in county jail, and was suspended for the entire 2009 NFL season. He now speaks against drunk driving multiple times per year, including at the NFL’s rookie symposium.
But it’s that history of poor choices that has critics up in arms about his ascension and maneuver to political fellow at one of the internet’s top news brands, something that the folks at Huffington Post feels is in his past.
“He’s the real thing,’’ said Ryan Grim, the Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief, to the Washington Post. “But that’s the beauty of journalism, we do it out in public, you can judge for yourself what you think of his work.’’