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Former NFL player delivers inspirational message to high school students

Oct 09, 2013 -- 10:28am

Southeast Missourian

Former professional football player Tim Lester spoke to Scott City High School students Tuesday, leaving them with a message to be good "choosers" and to not conform to the world around them. Lester says "We are not born winners, we are not born losers, we are born choosers” as he encouraged the students to run away from drugs and alcohol and make good choices in their lives. Lester, a former fullback for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, visited several local schools Tuesday and will continue to deliver his message today to more school districts and civic groups. He is one of about 20 former professional athletes who give motivational speeches through the not-for-profit Sports World Ministries organization. Lester began his message with disparaging comments about popular music and shared his story of growing up in a rough neighborhood with six siblings and following the rules while other members of his family chose drugs -- landing one brother in a mental institution and another in prison. Lester's first touchdown was against Southeast Missouri State University. Lester was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which occurs in people who suffer multiple concussions. He said he was introduced to the prescription drug Toradol during his NFL career and played 16 games and practiced with Toradol injections. He said fame blinded him from what he knew to be right, so he turned to God and now lives a religious life.

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