An All-Pro offensive tackle and Pro Bowl selectee, Kyle Turley played nine seasons in the NFL after being selected 7th overall in the 1998 draft. He played five seasons for the New Orleans Saints and a year with the St. Louis Rams before a serious back injury sidelined him for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Turley returned to the field in 2006 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, where he spent the last two years of his career before retiring in 2007.
Post-retirement, Turley has been involved in a number of causes related to player health issues. Diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of the 100+ concussions he received during his 10-year NFL career, Turley struggled with an addiction to painkillers, violent thoughts and suicidal tendencies until he started using medical marijuana.
To help save other lives, Turley founded the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition to use his story and those of other players to advance the use of marijuana as a valid medical treatment for neurological conditions and other athletic injuries.
With the National Football League Players Association voting on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that includes no punishment for positive tests on marijuana, Turley will achieve one big hurdle that began two years ago when he first approached the NFL.
In addition, Turley has partnered with Shango founder and CEO Brandon Rexroad to form the ownership group that is bringing the Shango brand to the Inland Empire. He is also a board member of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund and has released music via The Kyle Turley Band and Delta Doom.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Kyle Turley himself by phone on March 11, 2020 about his work with Shango, his musical aspirations, life as a retired NFL player, and DDPY; the app of Diamond Dallas Page's program formerly known as DDP YOGA is offered to all members of the NFL Alumni Association at no additional charge.
The full interview is embedded below for your listening pleasure, while part of the conversation has been exclusively transcribed for Sportskeeda.
On whether or not he has tried Diamond Dallas Page's DDPY app:
Kyle Turley: I was one of the first to get the DDP YOGA program. I still implement a lot of his things in my life today. These messages of helping people and getting them their lives back... Focusing his energy not just towards a business, but what that is doing for them in their lives, by creating unbelievable activity for them that they never thought possible... These broken bodies from these action sports, these contact sports, is very real.
When we can get our minds back, I know DDP is probably onboard with my conversation, because when you're in a true search for health and wellness, you leave no stone unturned. From DDP to all the other things, I think the athletes that understand health and wellness know that lies within our minds and telling people what we've been able to accomplish.
On his last words for "the kids":
Kyle Turley: This [life] is a crazy experience... It's very important that you stay focused, stay dedicated to everything that is in front of you every day. Make the most of it. Don't leave a stone unturned. Continue to drive forward with purpose and passion in what you do, and success is [then] awaiting.