Chiefs QB Tyler Bray (Citizen Band Potawatomi) & IHS Haskell Diabetes Prevention Program Bring “NFL Play 60” Event to Lawrence, KS

Kansas City Chiefs backup QB Tyler Bray (Citizen Band Potawatomi) at the NFL Play 60 event held in Lawrence, Kansas.

Kansas City Chiefs backup QB Tyler Bray (Citizen Band Potawatomi) at the NFL Play 60 event held in Lawrence, Kansas.

LAWRENCE, KANSAS — While the Kansas City Chiefs are 4-3 on the season, the best story comes from outside the locker room. Tyler Bray (Potawatomi- Citizen Band), Derrick Johnson, Charchandrick West, Josh Martin and even the Chiefs Mascot, the KC Wolf, made an appearance at the brand-new Sports Pavilion Lawrence on Tuesday.

This event was a part of the NFL Play 60 program, where kids get the chance to work out and stay active with local NFL players.

This event was hosted by the Indian Health Service Haskell Diabetes Prevention Program and its program manager Elwood Ott. This was a great connection for both the Diabetes Prevention Program and NFL Play 60, as they share similar goals. The goal of the NFL Play 60 program is to make the next generation of youth the most active and health; while the Diabetes Prevention Program leads the effort to educate people with the goal to eradicate diabetes in the Native American communities.

Tyler Bray (Citizen Band Potawatomi) instructs a Play 60 participant.

Tyler Bray (Citizen Band Potawatomi) instructs a Play 60 participant.

The activities for the hour included a football toss, standing jump, shuttle run and more. Local Native American youth worked with the athletes directly in every drill. Approximately 60 students were in attendance from the grades of 3rd through 6th grades. After the event, the kids took pictures and got autographs with every Kansas City Chiefs player who participated.

Former Tennessee Vols and current Kansas City Chiefs backup QB Tyler Bray  was one of the headliners for the event.

Bray, currently in his second season with the Chiefs said, “I’m thankful to give back to the community, the Chiefs Kingdom is great. We get to play in the loudest stadium in the NFL and I couldn’t ask for anything else.”

While Bray had never been to Lawrence before Tuesday, he shared a special connection with some of the other Native Americans at the event. Bray said, “I’ve spent some time in Oklahoma learning about his heritage, where my grandma is from.” Bray went on to say, “It is great to be able to represent as a minority in the NFL.”

Bray is one of three Native Americans in the National Football League. The others included Rams QB Sam Bradford (Cherokee) and Chargers CB Keenan Allen (Lumbee). Bray was a four-year starter at Tennessee and went undrafted. Bray, a California native, is currently on the injured reserve list.

Since 2007, the NFL $200 million to youth health and wellness through NFL Play 60 program. The fitness campaign focuses on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

(Tyler Jones is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University and a member of the student Indian Leader newspaper staff. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and is currently majoring in TV production at Haskell, where he hopes to eventually get his graduate degree in Broadcast Journalism.)

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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