06 Jan FIGHT ON FOREVER ORGANIZATION LAUNCHES TO CARE FOR FORMER USC FOOTBALL PLAYERS
PROMINENT MEMBERS OF TROJANS’ ALUMNI FAMILY TO DELIVER SERVICES THROUGH NEW NONPROFIT ENTITY; PARTNER WITH HALL OF FAME HEALTH
Los Angeles, CA – Several hundred former USC football players have formed a new nonprofit entity, Fight On ForeverTM, with the purpose of caring for former teammates facing life’s challenges.
Whether individuals or families are dealing with economic hardships or health-related issues, or struggles with addiction or mental health, Fight On Forever seeks to be a safe and trusted place where they can seek help.
The organization came out of conversations among several former Trojan players related to helping former teammates and wanting to establish something more formal and with more resources than the one-off stories they all shared of trying to assist certain individuals. Stories of many former Trojans – many of whom went on to careers in the NFL as well – who have been challenged in the transition from football have made headlines over the past several years.
“We hope to make a difference,” said former USC and NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, who will serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. “USC football is a tight community, and when our guys are struggling, or their families are struggling, we all feel it. And we all want to help.”
Peete is joined on the Board of Directors by Executive Director Brad Leggett, Frostee Rucker, Sam Baker, Jeremy Hogue and Mike Lamb.
In addition, the group includes several hundred former players who have joined as members of the organization, willing and wanting to be notified when a former player needs assistance. The group’s Advisory Board consists of more than 25 Trojan legends, including Ronnie Lott, Matt Leinart, Keyshawn Johnson, Carson Palmer, Marcus Allen and Anthony Muñoz.
“We spent some time during this pandemic connecting former USC football players from all generations on Zoom calls, and our sense of brotherhood only increased,” said Leggett, a former Trojan and NFL offensive lineman whose father, Earl Leggett, was also an NFL player and longtime coach. “But to truly help guys and their families is hard work. It’s more than money. And it’s more than one or two guys can do on their own. That’s what Fight On Forever is trying to be – an organization with real resources that can engage with people needing help by developing a real game plan that impacts lives forever.”
As part of the announcement today, Fight On Forever is also launching a partnership with Hall of Fame Health, an entity formed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early 2020 that seeks to assist former NFL players address health-related issues. Hall of Fame Health has partners throughout the country that serve their football community in areas from insurance/coverage issues, to finding the best doctors and caregivers for even the most complex medical issues, to working with families on behavioral health matters, including intervention, addiction and recovery and engaging in times of crisis.
Hogue, a former USC Academic All-American center who runs a prominent health care company, started the company after a phone call from Lott in 2018 challenging him to join with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to make a difference. Lott now serves on the Hall of Fame Health Board. Lamb, another former USC offensive lineman, also works as a vice president of Hall of Fame Health. The Medical Advisory Board of Hall of Fame Health, comprised of world-class doctors from across the country, has a former Trojan football player and longtime Dallas Cowboy team doctor – Drew Dossett – as its chairman.
“Hall of Fame Health wasn’t planned to be a Trojan-led effort, but it sort of turned out that way,” Hogue said. “I knew I could call these guys and they would step up and help. That’s the Trojan football family. And once we got going, it was Ronnie who asked why we weren’t organizing a specific group for our Trojan teammates as well. He was right, and the response has been tremendous. Every single Trojan we’ve asked to join us has said yes. There are just some we haven’t reached yet.”
Hall of Fame Health – while initially targeting former NFL players and their families exclusively – is glad to be extending its resources to organizations like Fight On Forever, said Hogue, who will serve on both boards.
The next step for Fight On Forever, Leggett said, is spreading the word.
“That’s what this announcement is about. We can’t help people unless we know they’re struggling. We don’t want to read any more headlines about a former teammate of ours passing away or ending up in some bad situation without letting that person or their family know that we’re here to help. We can’t solve everything, but we’re here. And we’ll do all we can.”
Brad Leggett, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org; 949-706-9900, ext 3464
ABOUT FIGHT ON FOREVER
Fight On Forever, Inc., is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation, whose purpose is to assist former USC Trojan football players and their families who need help in facing life’s challenges. There is no cost for membership, and all former players are eligible to become members. Fight On Forever will seek to connect those in need with resources to assist them and when appropriate, raise needed funds to help meet needs or offset the costs of specific care or other needed services. Fight On Forever is also partnered with Hall of Fame Health, an organization that assists former football players with healthcare solutions and services. For more information about Fight On Forever, visit FightOnForever.org.
ABOUT HALL OF FAME HEALTH
Hall of Fame Health is a joint venture between the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sovereign Healthcare, created to develop services and solutions for all persons associated with the game of football, and extending these efforts to impact our communities. The entity seeks to play an integral role in shaping health care services and benefits, pioneering innovative new business ventures, partnering with market leaders in various go-to-market strategies, coordinating game-changing research, raising funds for those in need of financial assistance or services, and advocating for better health care for all. For more information about Hall of Fame Health, visit HOFHealth.com.