Devon Kennard is living the dream as a linebacker with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
But he knows there is more to life than football.
Kennard, a Tempe native who returned to his home state this year after stints with the New York Giants and Detroit Lions, recently shared that he had purchased a new vehicle for his mother, who had been driving the same car since he was in elementary school.
“‘Victory to me is when you get your moms right! – Nipsey Hussle. My mom is the backbone of our family, this the least I could do! She’s been driving the same car since I was 10 years old. I had to change that!” he tweeted Nov. 20.
“Victory to me is when you get your moms right!” – Nipsey Hussle
My mom is the backbone of our family, this the least I could do! She’s been driving the same car since I was 10 years old. I had to change that! pic.twitter.com/tA82aEOKBz
— DK (@DevonKennard) November 20, 2020
Given that he’s now 29, that means his mother used the same car for almost 20 years.
Keeping cars runs in the family, according to CNBC, which noted back in 2018 that Kennard began his pro career with the Giants driving the same Kia Sorento he had in high school.
He explained that driving a 2005 car in 2014 was a reflection of a way of life his family instilled in him.
“Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend money,” the linebacker said. “Any purchase that’s over, let’s say, $300 or $400, I take a long time to consider.”
Kennard noted that one of the questions he asks himself was, “Can I afford it if I never play another down of football?”
“You don’t have to double your budget just because you’re making more money,” he said. “I think that that’s something that every single person, whether you’re a professional athlete or a 9-to-5 worker, should consider.”
When he was with the Lions last year, Kennard was the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, according to the Detroit Free Press.
While in Detroit, he worked with a program called Midnight Golf that seeks to help at-risk teens.
“I just loved the work they were doing,” the former USC star said. “I felt there was a need there and there are some very bright kids.”
But Kennard wanted them to do more.
“I wanted to encourage them to read books and really reflect on some books they read, so I created a scholarship,” he said. “So I asked them to choose a book, read it and not only give me a summary of the book but talk about the impact it had on their life, what they learned from the book, how they can apply it to their life. I ended up getting over 60 applications. I read every single one personally myself.”
Kennard also participated in meetings between police and young men while he was in Detroit.
“We had real talks about social resiliency, what they’re going through, how to overcome adversity, some challenges they’re facing and how to deal with it,” he said, according to the Free Press.
“And a message I really wanted to send is they’re at a pivotal point in their lives and the decisions I made at their age are having a ripple effect now. And I had friends who made bad decisions at their age and they’re dealing with the repercussions of that as well.
“So the decisions they make will greatly impact their lives. Moving forward, what kind of decisions are you going to make?”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.