Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman talked to Jimmy Kemp at Redskins Park today. Kemp is the son of the late Jack Kemp, and president of the Jack Kemp Foundation. He was at Redskins Park to day to … well, here, I’ll just let Tinsman explain. (The AP Photo below is of Jack Kemp, not Jimmy. Just in case there was any confusion.)
Jimmy Kemp stopped by Redskins Park today to talk to Redskins general manager Bruce Allen about the Jack Kemp Foundation, of which he is President.
Jack Kemp was a former quarterback in the American Football League, National Football League, and Canadian Football League over a 13-year career. He also set up the AFL Players Association and also served his country in the US Army Reserves. After his playing career, he was a Congressman, Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate, and Presidential Cabinet member.
The man personified leadership, and that’s something that his family wanted to pass on. According to Jimmy — a former CFL quarterback himself and a native of Potomac, Md. — the foundation seeks to carry on his father’s legacy.
“We set up the Jack Kemp Foundation after Dad passed away in 2009,” Kemp said. “One of our programs is the Kemp Leadership Academy, a resource for current and former professional and Olympic athletes that are interested in public policy and potentially public service.”
The advisory board of the foundation is comprised of former athletes-turned-politicians Bill Bradley, JC Watts, Steve Largent, and Tom McMillen.
“The idea is that there are skills that translate from professional sports to a political career,” Kemp explained. “We’re really, almost a training camp for your mind, to get you ready for the battle of ideas. We think that’s one of the lessons that translates well from the playing field to the political field.”
Kemp’s trip to Ashburn was inspired by the launch of his full program this fall. “I just came out to talk to Bruce Allen about, y’know, former players who we could be working with, who could be interested.”
“We work across party lines, we’re non-partisan,” Kemp continued. “I’ve got two Democrats on the advisory board and two Republicans on the advisory board, and I’ve got great relationships in both parties.”
An NFC East rivalry is currently being acted out in Congress, as former Redskin Heath Shuler, a Democrat from North Carolina, sits across the aisle from former Eagle Jon Runyan, a Republican from New Jersey. Several former Redskins — including punter Derrick Frost and outside linebacker Ken Harvey — have also been in contact with Kemp about getting involved.
Kemp had a great perspective on success in any field, and put it in terms of football. “Success is once you are elected, do you have an impact? It’s similar to making the Redskins: if somebody considers that be success, they’re probably going to get cut in the near future.”
Kemp’s program is designed to help professional athletes find that measure of success by refocusing their efforts that made them tremendous athletes. “Success is performance on the field, and in politics it requires intense intellectual training. You have to work your mind the way, when you played your sport, you worked your body.”
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