Former NFL player, Joe Horn, visits Tupelo to help kids learn life lessons

A former NFL football player with deep northeast Mississippi roots returned to the area

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A former NFL football player with deep northeast Mississippi roots returned to the area this weekend to help mentor young people to learn to Love Your Neighbor.

Joe Horn spent 12 years in the NFL, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons. On Saturday, he came to the Northside Boys and Girls Club of Tupelo to shoot a few hoops with area youth and mentor them about making the right choices.

“It’s the Love Your Neighbor Initiative. My father-in-law Mr. Beene called me up about a year ago, was hearing about a lot of shootings that were happening with the youth here in Mississippi. So he called me one night and asked me if I would be okay with coming down to speak to the kids more often. And I told him sure I would love to do that,” said Horn.

“It was just pondering in my mind. you know, what can some of us do to help stop the gun violence? So, it just kept kind of you know hitting my mind so I’m trying my best because I’ve got eight grandsons. And when you see on the news so often gun violence with the young men, young ladies also but mostly it’s more prevalent in the young men, it’s on my heart. I’m a deacon, chairman of the deacon board at my church which is the Tupelo, the Temple of Compassion and Deliverance so it made my heart heavy,” said Beene.

Horn said he knows what it is going to take to convince these kids to seek the right path.

“Love. When people see that it’s more love as far as the kids and as far as gun violence in Tupelo Mississippi, their kids got to see that you are there. Celebrities of superstars or whatever you want to call us we can come down and talk but once we leave who are the kids going to be able to call at 2 in the morning when they don’t have food to eat when they can’t go anywhere,” said Horn.

Horn said it takes a community effort.

“You have to build something bigger for these kids to go to. The Boys and Girls Club is wonderful. It’s a small building. It’s not that big to carry all the kids that need to come that need the attention. So I’m pushing for more business owners, I’m pushing for the community to come together as one because it’s your city and you see the violence here, and if you want to know how to help these kids you have to show that you love them too and maybe things will change,” said Horn.

Horn said he hopes that by telling young people his story, they can become better people.

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