August 19, 2020 4:00 am Published by

Episode 69:

Former NFL player, Fred Stokes did not start playing football until his senior year in high school. In high school in Vidalia, Georgia, he excelled in basketball and track, but little did he know football would be his future. Fred received a full scholarship to play football for Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga. under the legendary coach, Erk Russell. Fred played a vital role on two National Championship teams (1985 and 1986) and was only one of two players on his team voted First Team All-America after his senior season as an Offensive Tackle.

Fred was drafted into the National Football League where he spent ten years playing Defensive End for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Washington Football Team, and the New Orleans Saints. Known by his teammates as “Big Play Stokes,” Fred went on to play and win the Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Football Team against the Buffalo Bills.

Fred is a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker, delivering his motivational/inspirational messages and author of his autobiography, “The Bridge That Brought Me Over.”

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Fred’s environment shaped his character and worldview
  • Fred’s experience growing up as a black man in Georgia with a single mother
  • Fred’s first encounter with racism as a child, and how it impacted him moving forward
  • The pain and hardship that shaped Fred into the amazing human being he is today
  • How to achieve the level of impact that we want
  • Fred’s leadership journey in the NFL
  • How Fred continues to achieve success while overcoming personal hardships like the loss of his nephew who was like a son
  • What we can do to bring more people together and affect conversations of change in these difficult times


Never Fall Prey to Circumstance

As a former NFL player for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, Washington Football Team, and the New Orleans Saints, it is safe to say that our guest, Fred Stokes, is not an ordinary guy. Fred won Super Bowl XXVI with the 1991 Washington Football Team, and he went on to continue his journey of intentional greatness in other areas after his football career was over. Fred is an accomplished motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur. In this episode of Intentional Greatness, Fred talks about his mission to positively enhance the life of every person who comes across his path. He explains how his environment shaped his character and worldview, discusses his experiences with racism, and explains how he achieved immense success without becoming a victim of circumstance.

Product of Environment

Fred’s mom gave birth to him at just fifteen years old. He grew up as a black man in Georgia with a single mother and the odds stacked against him. But in spite of the difficult hand he had been dealt, Fred managed to magnetize the good and put himself in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that came his way. His teachers, coaches, and extended family gave him the support he needed to succeed. And Fred was receptive to help and guidance because he was determined to do anything in his power to get his mom out of that difficult situation. Our environment shapes our character and worldview, but we don’t have to accept everything it throws at us.

Never Let Anyone Tell You You’re Not Special

Fred has an unbelievable amount of great stories, experiences, and advice, but with that also comes a lot of pain and hardship; even up until recently. Fred had to have conversations about racism with his mother throughout his entire life, and it helped him realize the value of his natural gifts and talents. If you have something special, you are not motivated by money and status. Fred never let anybody take that away from him, and his gifts drove him to greatness.

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