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Good Tidings Podcast Episode 5 – Ronnie Lott

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In this episode of the Good Tidings podcast, host Larry Harper, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation, kicks off the second season of the show by interviewing the man who is likely the best Bay Area athlete-philanthropist of all time: Ronnie Lott.  Ronnie is a four-time Superbowl champion, an NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of All Stars Helping Kids.  His work with All Stars and other charitable organizations demonstrates the deeper reality of his commitment to giving back, which – over and above his sports career – defines Ronnie’s legacy.Good Tidings Podcast

Looking first to Ronnie’s background, Larry points out that he was born in New Mexico, moved to Washington D.C., and mainly grew up in Southern California.  He played various sports as a child, especially loving basketball; surprisingly, Ronnie explains that even a career in the NFL hasn’t shifted basketball from its position as his favorite sport!  Moving forward, Ronnie shares about how he learned to be tough, how he was impacted by the social justice efforts and unrest in the 60s, and what Jackie Robinson means to him.  Even though racial tensions and efforts toward reform have colored decades of Ronnie’s life in various ways, he finds that the NFL is well behind the tide of social progress in this area, and has yet to establish a level playing field across racial lines.

Ronnie, however, is working tirelessly to foster an equitable and giving society that nurtures community and strong leadership, reflects an attitude of thankfulness, respects our country and helps it to be the best it can be, and lifts up others – especially those who come from underprivileged communities.  While he was certainly shaped by personal influences such as his parents, Ronnie is not alone in this commitment.  Rather, he has worked alongside a number of athletes and other leaders committed to the same ends, and has been involved with such organizations as Tipping Point and Champion Charities.  Ronnie shares about the process of investing in his philanthropic ventures, his desires to disrupt poverty, strive on behalf of people of color, coach others, combat the ravages of brain cancer, and more; his work is adaptable and does not know a stopping point, but one effort leads to more, driven by the constant conviction that he is part of something bigger than himself.  As the conversation concludes, Ronnie talks about Mind Games, the podcast he hosts with his daughter.

The opening song was recorded in 1984 by 49er players including Ronnie Lott.

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