Editor’s Note: with the original publication that this article was posted on set for imminent extinction, we brought this post over to The Sports Bank before it gets deleted. It originally ran in the fall of 2018.
During his playing days, Chicago Bears icon and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Singletary was well known for both his incredible toughness and amazing acumen. Whenever anyone makes their all-time best Super Bowl picks, the team whose defense he anchored, the ’85 Bears, is always considered among the best.
Now the legendary linebacker is bringing the same traits which helped him dominate opposing offenses on the gridiron over to the social justice arena. “Samurai Mike” is doing his part to help combat the global water crisis, a dire situation that will only worsen as the adverse effects of catastrophic climate change take hold of the Earth.
Singletary is teaming up with Dr. Todd Phillips of The Last Well and his clean water crusade.
Their mission to to make Liberia the first developing country in the world to have border to border access to safe drinking water by 2020. We had an exclusive interview with the duo, via Skype, early Monday morning as they were on the Hope Floats barge in Lake Ray Hubbard; just outside of Dallas, Texas.
“Every single human being in this world deserves access to safe drinking water. We hope our efforts will open up the dialogue on clean water initiatives and bring this notion to fruition – not just for Liberia, but across the globe,” said Phillips.
“I believe, like many geopolitical experts and others have (who have) said that World War III could actually be started by the scarcity of water around the world- fights between borders from bodies of water that people are pulling from,” he continued.
“Clean water is a massive challenge globally. In fact, 700,000,000 people right now on this planet, about 7% do not have access to clean water, they’re drinking disease infested water.”
“It’s a horrifically challenging issue.”
Phillips has spent 12 days camping out on an open-air barge in Lake Ray Hubbard, and won’t return to dry land until his organization reaches their fund-raising goal of $2.29 million– the amount needed to get clean water to 500,000 Liberians by 2020.
Thus far, Phillips has raised about $830,000 – almost 40% of the goal, and he’s done it in spite of record-breaking rainfall, gale-force winds, tornado watches, five foot white caps and monstrous waves.
At one point, the waves were so strong that he wasn’t able to stand for 40 hours, and only slept eight hours over a four day period. Singletary is excited to get involved and try to really help in anyway that we can.
“It’s kind of mind-boggling and it really keeps me humble, in terms of the some of the issues that we wrestle with here in America,” said the heart of the vaunted 1985 Chicago Bears defense.
“When you think about the things that you need for survival and water being one of them, and for an entire country not to have it. It’s kind of mind boggling to me.”
The 10 time Pro Bowler and 1990 NFL Man of the Year still gets back to Chicago a couple times a year, as he has plenty of family, friends and former teammates still here in the city.
“Once you’ve been around Chicago, it’s always great to get back. The people and the city are pretty amazing,” the two time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and three time NFC Player of the year said.
“Being in the city of Chicago, they’re always at the forefront of social justice.”
Mike Singletary added that the CTE/concussion crisis is another issue that he feels strongly about, and is heavily involved with. Coincidentally, Singletary’s former team became the first NFL club to get involved in the league’s social justice initiative.
Full audio to the exclusive with Mike Singletary and Dr. Todd Phillips is above
For more information on Dr. Phillips and The Last Well’s mission or to donate visit their homepage. 100% of the donations go the people of Liberia.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.