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Roddy White Returns Home to Charleston
3/12/2014 11:04:15 AM

Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Roddy White signiing autographs for fans. Photo by Damion Smalls
By Damion Smalls

James Island’s own Roddy White made a special appearance for in his hometown on Saturday, March 8 as he held a meet and greet affair at The Fan Zone in North Charleston.

Eager fans stood in line for hours awaiting the 11 AM event as most came decked out in Atlanta Falcons gear, the only team that the wide receiver has played for since being drafted by them in 2005. And they did not leave disappointed.

The former James Island High School standout welcomed the crowd early on and was a gracious host throughout. He signed whatever they put in front of him, took pictures, and made himself available for small talk with the people. His easygoing demeanor belied any notions that the four-time Pro Bowler has let the fame go to his head.

White was thankful to be in Charleston once again. He said that it’s because it’s always fun to get to visit his family and interact with his fans. He nodded to his family, who help “keep him grounded” and are “true believers of giving back to the community”.

The Roddy White Keep the Faith Foundation organized the event. Run by White’s family, it was established in 2010 have been doing “great things”, according to him. The foundation was created out of White’s vision of enriching the lives of underprivileged kids. They regularly hold occasions showing their patronage, such as school supply giveaways, festivals and holiday drives. The foundation works hard to help children reach their dreams and attain their ambitions. White has used his NFL fortune to make lives better across the county, a fact that has not gotten the attention it rightfully deserves.

White noted how it has been a “beautiful run” playing for the Falcons for the last decade. He said that during all the changes that he has seen, staying consistent in his work ethic is critical. He still trains as hard as he did when he was unproven rookie out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Now a veteran, he has adjusted nicely in his role as a leader in the Falcon locker room. His commitment to winning has him ready for the upcoming season and hungry to rebound in a big way in 2014.

Not forgetting his roots, White had a smile on his face while talking about James Island. He enjoys his time living in Atlanta, but there is just a different vibe in Charleston that is alluring to most people who have spent any significant time in the wondrous city. Whenever he has the time, he comes back. He loves how “much hasn’t changed”, which gives him “a good feeling”.

He acknowledged that it wasn’t always easy growing up, but he urges any young people in similar situations to “stay the course, show great character, and do what you are supposed to do”. White is a proponent of kids staying in school and learning as much as they can to prepare themselves for the real world.

He knows about the uphill battle Blacks face in this country all too well. With the support of his family and friends, White has kept his head on straight through the countless distractions his career accrues. A fierce competitor on the field and a fun-loving youth advocate off, Roddy White is a remarkable case of how breaking the Black glass ceiling is possible without losing one’s morality, even here in the Lowcounty.

For more information on Roddy White or to connect with the Roddy White Keep the Faith Foundation, contact the Assistant Director of his camp, Latesha Grant, at 843-860-1737.

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