Posted By: Michael Cecchin
Known throughout his career as an exceptional defensive player and an all-around tackler, Joey Browner was a key asset to the Minnesota Vikings from 1983 to 1991 and made a positive impact on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his only season with the team in 1992. He was selected to six Pro Bowls throughout his career and was named to the NFL 1980s’ All-Decade Team; while holding the Pro Bowl record with 3 fumble recoveries returned for touchdowns and compiled over 1,000 total tackles during his time in the league. His effectiveness in leading to a positive outcome on the field is only a sample of what he has been able to accomplish off the field and in the community.
In 2009, Browner started the Joey Browner Foundation with the idealization of assisting those in the community with their fundamental growth mentally, physically and spiritually. The Foundation provides the ability for fulfillment within children by offering the opportunity for them to complete their goals and dreams by giving out numerous scholarships. The scholarships cater to various interests and goals from athletic camps to educational degrees. Through filling out online applications and an essay stating their goals and hopeful achievements, candidates are then chosen and given the opportunity to reach their goal. What separates the Joey Browner Foundation from many other organizations with similar agendas are their post-scholarship requirements. Each student is required to give back what he or she has received by providing assistance within the community they come from.
Browner’s work however didn’t begin in 2009 with his Foundation, nor does it end there. Throughout his childhood, Joey’s mother was continuously involved with organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) where she worked to ensure political, educational, social and economic equality of all people and the elimination of race-based discrimination. His mother’s involvement and dedication to the organization and the community connected with Joey at a young age as he too became active within the community.
Spawning from his mother’s big heart, Joey Browner has always been committed to the well-being and understanding of the Indigenous people. Over the years he has worked endlessly, filling the void within the perception and conscious misinterpretation given to those of the First Nations. Through hosting numerous camps and programs within Indigenous communities, Browner has helped in assisting the development and understanding for both the Indigenous and outside community. With the population becoming more diverse, many of those within the Indigenous community are moving out of reservations and into the city, which for many is very difficult and taunting. Through Browner’s work he has given many people a sense of companionship and stability after their move into Western Civilized cities providing them with proper education and stability to start on a level playing field.
Throughout his career Joey Browner gave it his all on the field and left everything he had out there. His drive and power made him an elite strong safety in the NFL and his heart and passion fueled his teammates around him. His life long mission to better the lives of others is as admirable as his 1,000 plus career tackles and the selflessness he portrays is beyond any reward of recognition.
To learn more about the Joey Browner Foundation, visit http://www.joeybrownerfoundation.org/index.html