Former NFL star Burgess Owens told his story of overcoming adversity during his speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.
“When I was 22 years old, I thought all my dreams had come true when I was drafted by the New York Jets. Ten years later, with a Pro Bowl nod and a Super Bowl championship under my belt, I left the NFL to start a business,” he said.
“I thought I could never fail, but I did. And I lost everything. As I moved my family of six into a one-bedroom basement apartment in Brooklyn, New York, I faced a crossroads: feel sorry for myself or get to work,” Owens said.
“I worked as a chimney sweep during the day and a security guard at night. It was humbling to be recognized cleaning a chimney by someone who once cheered for me in an NFL stadium,” he said.
Owens said he worked hard and took a job in the corporate world.
“Second chances are at the core of our American identity,” the Utah congressional candidate said.
He argued Democrats, namely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, don’t see it the same way.
“Career politicians and even a former bartender, want us to believe that’s impossible,” he said.
“I’m running for Congress because we don’t need more career politicians. We need a few more chimney sweeps,” Owens added.
Owens began his speech by telling his family history in America.
“Shackled in the belly of a slave ship, an eight-year-old named Silas Burgess came to America to be sold on an auction block,” he said.
“By the grace of God, and the courage of slaves who believed in freedom, Silas escaped through the Underground Railroad and settled in the great state of Texas,” Owens told the convention.
“He went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He built his community’s first church, first elementary school, and purchased 102 acres of farmland,” he said.
“I’m here today, a candidate for Congress, because of my great great grandfather, Silas Burgess,” Owens said.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on weekends. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.