Cornerback Josh Norman stops by The Rush to discuss the kid trolling his former teammate Cam Newton, going viral for getting stiff-armed by Derrick Henry, teaming up with Drew Brees and Demario Davis, and his many philanthropic efforts, including the grand opening of the STARZ24 Teen Center.
JOSH NORMAN: I am not shying away from no one. I want to make that very clear-- very, very clear. It don't matter who you are-- you could be 300 pounds, all I care. I'm going to come at you.
First, I'm going to go for the ball. And if I don't get the ball, I'm going to try to get you. You may get me before I get you. That's just what it is. It's the game that we play.
It may get thrown across as memes. So what? Those are people who don't understand the game. They don't ever get it. They in for the s and the giggles-- the sh-- and the giggles. You already know where I'm at with it.
JARED QUAY: What's up, everybody? I'm here with All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman. J, how are you doing today, brother?
JOSH NORMAN: Hey, man. I'm living well, Jared. Thanks for having me on, brother.
JARED QUAY: One of your old teammates, Cam Newton, who has been training this weekend-- man, apparently at one of his football camps, there was a young kid, basically trolling him about being a free agent, man.
- You're a free agent. Free agent.
- I'm rich.
- He's a free--
JOSH NORMAN: You got to understand, bro, like, there is levels to-- to life. And there's levels to this. And-- and that kid-- you know, I don't know who he is or what he is. But he's actually play-- like, trying to play the game and get where he at, you know. Like, the disconnect of, like, where we are right now and the millennials-- I-- and yeah, they put us in a millennials.
So it is what it is. But we ain't-- we so far gone from the part where you have to first learn something. You have to listen. You got to take in. You got to take head.
Like, where's the respect, you know, to the part where-- this guy's an NFL football player. Like, he won the MVP, for crying out loud. It's like-- [LAUGHS] like, do you know how-- how many people have done that? [CHUCKLES]
- [INAUDIBLE] yes, he did. He gives it to Henry. Henry trying to get to that outside.
JARED QUAY: There's a clip-- you kind of went a little viral--
JOSH NORMAN: [LAUGHS]
JARED QUAY: --when you [INAUDIBLE]
JOSH NORMAN: I knew you was getting to that point. Hey, listen.
JARED QUAY: [LAUGHS]
JOSH NORMAN: I say this regardless of [INAUDIBLE] ask that question, man. It's-- and no matter who it w-- like, it's me. So they're going to obviously, like, [INAUDIBLE] and if it was to anybody else, it's kind of like, all right, whatever, like, sure. But it's me. [CHUCKLES] I get it. I get it. I get who we are and what it is that we do.
So, like, I am not shying away from no one. I want to make that very clear-- very, very clear. But that's just, you know, the type of entertainment they want to see. But to try to actually get out there and do that-- man, they going to scurry, and tuck they tail, and go hide somewhere. They ain't trying to do that.
JARED QUAY: This offseason, you've been real busy. On Friday, you're opening up the Starz24 24 teen center in your hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina. Tell me exactly what that is, man. Give me some in-depth details.
JOSH NORMAN: Kids in that area of my hometown in Greenwood, South Carolina-- we rose up to the number one murder rate in the state of South Carolina. It's crazy. Crazy. I never thought that that would ever happen. And then there was something I must do. I didn't know what it was.
So I started, you know, something. I started putting on these events. And we started, you know, namely the Celebrity Basketball Game. I threw a fun day. I threw a couple of things in trying to get people involved and start coming out to these events. It's better than, you know, being on the streets and getting involved in these gang-related activities.
And so Starz took off. And it was born. Because this is one of my visions I had. My 10-year plan was to, like, open a teen center. And now we have a strong enough partner that we can come on with the Boys & Girls Club of America, who's been doing it for 168 years, to be like, hey, look, we'll come on with you, and we'll help you.
Gosh, bro, I'm telling you there's been so many memories and so many things that's been going on, where I literally is fortunate enough and blessed to say this has been one of my most monumental things I've ever done in my life.
JARED QUAY: I was doing research. And I found out that you, D-- Drew Brees, and Demario Davis recently took a trip to Minneapolis. Can you tell me what the three of y'all were getting together for?
JOSH NORMAN: So we are-- this organization is a not-for-profit. It's a 501(c)(3) group that's called Shield 1, which we are doing impact investing into the communities pretty much hit hard right now.
Football is just a side job, if I would say [INAUDIBLE] that's saying that lightly. But for sure, these guys are super intelligent. Drew is just, I mean-- you think of him as a football player and how great he is. Man, you ought to see him-- how he work in that room. And--
JARED QUAY: [CHUCKLES]
JOSH NORMAN: And Demario, man-- his-- his language and how he's able to be a businessman-- he's astute. So all three of us, man, we're just going out there and trying to do what we can to help people out. And-- and we're going to probably end up bringing on more guys and-- and seeing who else can be on-- on our board, and-- and help out these other cities.
JARED QUAY: And why is it so important for you to give back?
JOSH NORMAN: My passion is the game. Like, I love the game. Like, it's something that I do. I've been doing it for 30-some years-- like, ever since I was a little [INAUDIBLE] boy. So when we was down there, we played ball.
But, you know, that has-- is starting to, like, windle down, as the years go on and you start to look at it like, hey, look, what's your next thing? What's your next move? And for the longest, I've been giving back. I've just been giving, giving, giving. And it's just like, listen, I have fun giving. I have, like, more fun almost than I do playing football in a way-- but I wouldn't kind of say that yet.
But it's literally fun giving back than I do receiving. And so my purpose is really, like, helping others out, and seeing them get ahead, and being a model citizen, for the Kingdom. Because everything we have, we have-- it's not our own. But it's through Him that we're able to, you know, do what we do.
JARED QUAY: Well, Josh--
--I appreciate you rushing with me today, man. Thank you. I wish you nothing but success. And keep doing what you're doing with Starz24, man. I can't wait for it to open up anywhere else in the world because you're doing good, man. Thank you for coming on and rushing with me.
JOSH NORMAN: Hey, man. I appreciate you too, buddy. Anytime, Jared, man. Thank you man. Tell big [? Calais ?] I said, what up.