Tuber of the Week #27: Overcoming Evil

There are plenty of inspirational stories in professional sports, but I am not sure any top that of recently retired American football player Warrick Dunn.

Through high school, Dunn and his five younger siblings were raised by a single mother.

In 1993, Warrick unexpectedly became the legal guardian of his family at age 18 after his mom, Betty Smothers, a Baton Rouge (LA) police corporal, was killed in the line of duty.

The oldest son went from the typical teenage worries about cars, football, and dating to being submerged in adult tribulations--attempting to fill the void in a family lacking maternal and paternal leadership.

Over the next dozen years, Dunn and his brothers and sisters succeeded. He was strong on the outside, but secretly battled severe depression.

It was not until the mid-2000s that a friend suggested the sports star try professional counseling. With the help of trained therapists and a strong faith, he started to understand his pain.

Warrick is now an ardent supporter for men to overcome the negative stereotype in asking for help and to seek psychological assistance.

Two years ago, Dunn returned to Louisiana and visited "Angola" State Prison's death row to meet the man convicted of shooting his mother during the botched robbery:



In 1998, Dunn started The Warrick Dunn Foundation with one goal being to provide new homes to single parents who could not afford them otherwise. The idea was to offer home ownership to a struggling family--the goal his mom was working to achieve the night her life was taken.

As of 2009, the foundation has provided 86 new homes to single parents and their dependents.

In our lives, we all are challenged to overcome some degree of evil.

Warrick's tale of shining in the midst of darkness, and in the end, offering forgiveness to those responsible for his pain is nothing short of exceptional.

18 comments:

terri said...

He's a shining example that one can find strength in the most traumatic of situations. What an amazing man!

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I love hearing positive uplifting stories where people take lemons and make lemonades. Thanks for sharing!

Bob G. said...

Now THIS man's life is the stuff they should be making a movie about...
Simply amazing.
Mr. Dunn has managed to advance through adversity, come out a winner, and is choosing to pass it forward.
Doesn't get any better than that.

Kudos.

His said...

I Really can't stand that depression (and other mental disorders) are still stigmatized in a day and age when we know better. Thanks for this blog... what a great story!

Thanks for reading my blog, too, btw. :)

gladwellmusau said...

My goodness. I can't think of a more noble calling than this. He took over from his mother her burden and he is now fulfilling her dream in her stead. God works in mysterious ways. Thanks for sharing such an encouraging testimony.

Blessings.

suzicate said...

Wow, what an inspirational story. Thnaks for sharing it.

Janna Qualman said...

Inspiring! What an incredible story.

Best to Warrick Dunn.

wildstorm said...

That is an awesome story. He has total trust in the Lord.

MONICA-LnP said...

very inspirational indeed!

Javajune said...

What a beautiful ending to a tragic story. I love to hear about people who triumpth through after life has beaten them down. Great story!
xo-junie

Iva said...

I LOVE inspirational sports stories!!

Dan said...

He is one of the great examples. There are many more in every community doing their good in relative anonymity - one of the goals of any community leader worth a grain of salt is find, support, and honor those people. (Spoken as an old mayor)

galleriamancuso said...

A truly inspirational story, thanks.

Luisa Doraz said...

I appreciate you sharing this amazing and inspirational story with all of us. I feel we need to be reminded often! Thanks!

Rowe said...

This is a wonderful post about a remarkable man. That he battled depression for all those years yet managed to look after his siblings and then start a foundation to help single parents have their own home . Wow.

diaryfromscotland said...

Deeply emotive and raises the profile of positive thought even though the pain is evident.

We can all learn from such an amazing gentleman.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I remember following the stories of Warrick Dunn -- and watching him play football. Always stuns me when I hear of those who give so much. Makes me wonder about myself. Yet, so proud of those who see and do much better than me.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
This is a wonderful story. I hope Mr. Dunn continues to find people that support him. It is clear that he knows the ways to support others.

Very inspirational, and oh, Louisiana. It is beautiful and sad.

Thanks for this,
Ann T.