Max Hall Responds To Apology From Make-A-Wish Board Member
SALT LAKE CITY – Former BYU quarterback Max Hall has responded to Make-A-Wish Utah Board Member Todd Noall.
Noall wore a t-shirt at the BYU/Utah rivalry game that featured a mugshot from Hall’s 2014 arrest for cocaine possession and shoplifting. He has since publicly apologized for what Make-A-Wish Utah called a “regrettable decision.”
Since wearing that shirt at the BYU/Utah game, images of his attire made the rounds on Twitter and fan message boards such as CougarBoard. BYU fans rallied behind Hall, the school’s winningest QB, and began donating to the Make-A-Wish foundation on him and his wife McKinzi’s behalf. Many of the donations were in the amount of $26.17, the score of this year’s rivalry game.
Noall, in his apology on his Make-A-Wish heroes page, stated that he would match all of the donations. Total donations since Monday night have nearly reached $25,000.
Hall, who hosts a podcast called The Agents of Recovery, wrote on Twitter, “I look forward to moving forward in a positive direction and shedding light on addiction and recovery.”
Here’s the entire response from Hall.
Response from Max Hall
“Much has transpired over the past few days and I hope when this is all said and done, we can learn from this experience. Who I am today is not who I was in my playing days. Today, I write this letter as a husband, a father, a coach, a friend and a grateful recovering addict.
“You are aware, after my career my life played out on the big screen. There was no hiding or covering up the fact that I was arrested for shoplifting while I was under the influence of drugs. Can you imagine making a mistake so big that your face was plastered all over the newspaper, television and Internet? I believed at that moment all my accomplishments, relationships, and future was over and I would forever be known as a drug addict.
“I was officially at my rock bottom. I needed help. A coach of mine saw the news and reached out to me. My coaches and players rallied around me and helped me secure a facility in Utah where I could heal from my biggest battle to date. Understand that stopping the use of drugs and alcohol was the easy part. Recovery, complete recovery, was the most brutal battle I have ever fought. Playing in front of 63,000 fans was easy compared to fixing my life. Imagine going from an elite quarterback to sitting in handcuffs in the back of a police car believing you have destroyed your family dynamics. I promise you this is extremely difficult and for that reason alone, most fear recovery. My recovery journey was long, public, and demanding. I want you to understand that recovering out loud takes some serious courage.
“Wearing that shirt to the game did not demonstrate courage. In reality, it showed your ignorance about addiction. My family not find it funny or rivalry worthy. It was an outward demonstration of a lack of enlightenment towards those in recovery. My wife and son were at the game on Saturday, an I am thankful they did not see you. I understand gestures in good fun, yet, you took being an antagonist to a very negative place. As a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I want to believe you know better. Mocking anyone for mistakes, addiction, mental health issues, and so on should be at the forefront of your mind.
“From me to you, I believe you crossed the line. You have brought a lot of attention to your shirt, and I find it interesting that you have nine companies selling the shirt online. I won’t ask you to remove the shirts or stop making them, yet please understand it directly reflects your character.
“After your shirt went public via Twitter, Garrett McClintock, Host of the BYU show, ‘Give Me Hell,” donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In the end, you indicated that you wanted to match all monies entering the non-profit. That pot is growing and will continue to grow. That is fantastic gesture and thank you for matching that. I just looked, and it is now up to $23,000 and growing.
“I was hoping you could help me understand your justification as the money benefits you and goes directly into the organization you promote. I propose you do something a little more challenging.
“I challenge you step out of your comfort zone and match the funds you’re donating to the Make-A-Wish and donate that same amount to The Agents of Recovery podcast, through the 501c3 Addict II Athlete. The podcast helps support men like you and I. Weekly, I share the microphone with recovering addict and retired undercover police office, Brock Bevell and recovering addict and therapist Blu Robinson.
“If you genuinely want to make things right and your actions are authentic, put your money and time behind them. Your contribution will help us reach thousands of people who have also found themself caught in the grip of addiction. You may be unaware that we lose 255 people to drug addiction and overdose every day, so that shirt demonstrates just how disconnected the population truly is about an epidemic killing 93,331 people alone last year.
“May I also extend the offer to you directly, if you want to learn more about addiction recovery. Brock, Blu, and myself want to personally work with you to see a different side of the families and friends of addicts in the trenches. Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by addiction or who is currently struggling with addiction because that’s how prevalent it truly is.
“Interested to hear your response,
Agent of Recovery”
Make-A-Wish Board Member replies
Todd Noall reached out to KSL Sports via email with a statement in response to Hall. KSL Sports confirmed Noall’s identity prior to publishing the statement.
“I have apologized to Mr. Hall both publicly and privately. I offered to work with Mr. Hall on a joint non-profit effort, to which he never replied. I am not selling, nor have I ever sold any T-shirts (let alone shirts featuring Mr. Hall), online or otherwise.”
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.
BYU Cougars Scoreboard
BYU Cougars Team Leaders
BYU Cougars Standings