Matt Ware was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, out of UCLA. After 5 seasons as a pro, with both the Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals, Matt was diagnosed with Type1 Diabetes. While that may have deterred many from continuing the pursuit of their dreams, it only motivated Ware.
In March of 2011, the Arizona Cardinals awarded Matt with the Ed Block Courage Award. The award, which honors those who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage, was voted on by his teammates. But Matt’s not just courageous on the field; off the field, he actively engages in numerous activities that give back to the community. Fortunately for us, we had the honor of interviewing Matt regarding the ways he gives back.
TGiS: Matt, thanks for taking the time discuss your off the field work in the community with us. It truly is an honor. When you were growing up, who was your role-model and why?
Matt Ware: When I was growing up, my role model was my dad and he still is. My dad has always been the same guy. He never allowed circumstances to change the way that he treated his family and I always loved and admired my dad for that, even at a young age. Just a caring compassionate person, day in and out.
TGiS: As an adult, when you think of a role model in professional sports, who is the first name that comes to mind?
Matt Ware: When I look at a role model, I look directly at Brian Dawkins. You’re talking about a man of great faith and practices what he preaches everyday. I feel blessed to have played with him and to have learned from him, not only as a player, but more importantly as a man.
TGiS: I know you’re very active off the gridiron. Off the field, what are you most passionate about?
Matt Ware: I’m most passionate about helping people and more importantly, our youth in any way possible. I help out in as many different facets as possible, whether it’s a reading program, speaking engagements or helping raise money or awareness for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Those are my passions.
- For more information on Matt, visit his website at http://www.mattware22.com/.
- Special thanks to Matt and his team at Arkay for setting up this interview.