Updated: Sep 15
Retired Superbowl Champion, Author,
and Inspiring Philanthropist
Profoundly Grateful Sports Taught Him to Control His Temper and God Taught Him to Control His Plan
Kyle Arrington’s mother feared that her son’s explosive temper would be his undoing. Fighting with classmates got him twice suspended from middle school, and his parents were afraid he would one day lash out too far – and end up in jail.
A burgeoning interest in sports turned out to be the antidote to his bad temper, though: both football and Tai Kwan Do. In football, he learned to pour his energy into making the best plays on the field rather than lashing out at people who antagonized him. And from Tai Kwan Do, he developed focus, concentration, and self-discipline, honing his skills so rapidly that he earned his black belt by his early teens.
Raised in suburban Maryland in a happy, secure two-parent household, Kyle was 12 before he joined his first football team.
Even in high school, Kyle didn’t yet see football as a future career path. After two years on the junior varsity squad, he finally made it to varsity his junior year only to dislocate his shoulder just as the season was starting. He knew sitting out the season would hurt his college prospects. A spiritual person who learned from his parents’ example to put his faith in God, Kyle’s lifelong religious faith dwindled somewhat in light of his injuries.
“I’m thinking to myself, why me?” Kyle remembers now. “It really put me in kind of a dark place.”
Gradually, he recovered from the injury reconnected with his sense of faith. “I reminded myself that whatever happened, it was definitely God’s plan, and it was already written for me. What matters is health, faith, and family. Football is just a game.”
Kyle played a successful senior year and was invited to play football at Hofstra. Fear of re-injuring himself in high school, as well as a natural inclination to be more of a runner than a tackler, had caused him to earn something of a “soft” reputation, and he saw college as a chance to change that. “I went to Hofstra my freshman year thinking that as soon as training camp starts, this is a fresh start. These guys, these upperclassmen don’t know what I bring to the table. I know I’m a good athlete. I know I can pick the ball off, intercept the ball. I also know I can tackle.”
He graduated from Hofstra determined to find his place in the NFL. It was an uphill battle. As a free agent, he was invited to the Eagles’ training camp and participated on their training squad but never made it to the active roster. Later, he played the first game of the season for Tampa, but his failure to impress resulted in his release from that team as well. And then, finally, his luck changed with an invitation to play for the New England Patriots. “I went down to the Miami game with them and made two tackles. The rest is pretty much history.”
Kyle was a starting cornerback with the Patriots, having joined their active roster full-time in 2009. “Kyle’s a guy that works hard,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick told a reporter from the Providence Journal. “When he’s had an opportunity, he’s done a good job of taking advantage of it.”
In May of 2015 Arrington was released by the Patriots and signed with the Baltimore Ravens. In 2016, Arrington suffered a concussion in the first preseason game and was placed on injured reserve, missing the entire season. In June 2017, Arrington retired due to his health.
Looking back, Kyle says he wouldn’t change anything at all: not the trouble he had making it onto a pro team, not even the shoulder injury in high school. “That injury was like a new beginning for me as far as where I was physically, emotionally, and mentally. You have to commit yourself to going after what you really want in life. Ever since high school, I thought football would be the route. I’ve tried to make every sacrifice that I thought was necessary to pursue that career.”
If there are two words that best align with Super Bowl Winning Champion Kyle Arrington, they are family and community. Being an undrafted free agent from the University of Hofstra back in 2008, it was fair to assume that he would have an uphill battle to carve out any semblance of a career. Relying on nothing but his foundation and values that brought him to that point. Which consists of an undeniable work ethic, accountability, resiliency, and mental fortitude, among others. What once started as a shot in the dark, became a storied long career, expanding a decade.
Since retiring from the NFL in 2017. Kyle’s purpose has been to pay that original investment forward and continue to be an example to the generations coming after him. As a husband, proud father of 3, entrepreneur and active leader in his community; his message is consistent throughout all facets of his life, and that’s helping each other become the best versions of ourselves. With an already commendable resume, he is adding one more to the list, author. Kyle has written a children’s book. Peace it, together and he has a self-help motivational book to be released by the end of 2021.
Kyle was as a guest reader for Easterseals “Bright Stars Bedtime Stories”. Easterseals is a 501c3 recognized nationwide, whose mission is to make profound, positive differences in the daily lives of people of all ages with disabilities, special needs, military backgrounds, and their families. For over 30 years, they have hosted a family-friendly event called Bright Stars, which provides an evening of hope and inclusion to children who too often cannot participate in community activities. This year, they will transition from a live physical event to a virtual series of special guest reading bedtime stories to children. March 25th capped off the series event and Kyle was the last guest reader, with his own book entitled Piece it, Together. He was featured in front of 20,000 families
Piece it, Together, is a timely message to children about the possibilities that can take place, when working together towards a common goal. Proceeds of the book will also go towards Kyle and his wife’s foundation EVOLVE (evolvecdc.com), whose purpose is to create and maintain opportunities, experiences, and environments of success for the youth, particularly in communities that need it the most. To learn more about their mission, please visit the website or social media:
EVOLVE website: https://evolvecdc.com/
With his sense of self-determination, kindheartedness, and boundless resolve combined with faith and spirituality, Kyle reflects the fundamental values of an extraordinary Insightful Player® team member.
Instant replay of Kyle’s guiding principles:
1. Never stop pushing yourself. You will always need to strive for what you want; there is no point at which it will be handed to you for keeps.
2. Believe in God. Even when things don’t go the way you hope, have faith that God has a meaningful and vital plan for you.
3. Show loyalty to your friends, family, superiors, and teammates. Have the humility that comes from being part of a group.
4. Remember that mental resolve is even more important than physical ability when it comes to getting what you want – even if what you want is to be a professional athlete.
5. Follow the examples of those you admire.
6. Learn from your own mistakes. Look for the positive message to be found in every setback.
7. Appreciate what you’ve been given. It could be taken away at any time.
8. Treat other people with respect and kindness, in accordance with how you would want them to treat you.
9. No matter how strong an athlete you are, make academics your highest priority, because academic success ultimately has more potential for your future than athletic success.
The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of INSIGHTFUL
PLAYER:Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. Insightful Player was created to help make our world more inclusive, kinder, and more loving by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call her landline 603-897-0610.
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Kyle Arrington is a valued member of the Insightful Player® team. To be named to this team, one must be a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children.