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Following NFL Career, Former Ute Linebacker Wants To Make A Difference

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Stevenson Sylvester is committed to being a philanthropist and gives some credit to Kyle Whittingham for teaching him the importance of giving back to the community.

Sylvester, lovingly known by Utah fans as Sly, came to Utah from Las Vegas. He was a member of the 2008 undefeated, Sugar Bowl Champion Utes.

He is from Las Vegas, but realized he needed a true home when he began his NFL career with the Steelers. He decided on Utah, because during his time here he was amazed by how kind Utahns are.

After suffering a career-ending injury he came back to Utah for his rehabilitation. In order to keep his mind off the injury, he started doing a lot of community service.

“I was always first a volunteer,” said Sylvester during an interview on Helmets Off podcast.

It began with a project where he helped to feed people suffering from homelessness. That project inspired his next venture called “Shop With Sly.”

“Shop With Sly” is a program that helps underprivileged kids during the holidays. Children are given a $100 gift card and taken shopping. While helping kids who wouldn’t normally get gifts get Christmas presents is the goal, the project also helps young kids understand the value of money and responsible spending.

Sylvester’s charitable giving with his non-profit Athlete Strong will be on full display this weekend at Rice Eccles Stadium where he is hosting a charity “Turkey Bowl.” All of the proceeds will go to Athlete Strong’s winter service events.

If you have a team and are interested in signing up visit Athlete Strong online. If you don’t have a team, but still want to play, you can sign up for the “free-agent team” by emailing info@athletestrong.org.

You can listen to the full interview on Helmets Off below.