Please introduce yourself.
I’m Tony Richardson, former NFL fullback for the Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Jets.
When did you become passionate about American football?
I actually was born in Frankfurt, Germany and growing up in Germany, my number one sport was soccer so I didn’t start playing American football until my 10th grade year in high school. So, I was kind of late to the game. But as I started to progress, my 10th grade year, my 11th grade year, and my senior year, I started to get a little bit better and then football scholarships started to come my way. And that’s really when I think I became passionate about the game of football because I knew that that was going to be an opportunity for me to take the financial burden off my family for me to go to college
Was sun protection a priority for you when you played in the NFL?
A lot of people don’t believe that I’m actually 49 years old, almost 50. But it was something that I was always passionate about, even when I was playing. Early in my career, I would go and get facials. I would always try and take care of my skin but we never really focused on protection for your skin, as far as going out to practice and making sure you have the proper sunblock. Nor did our team tell us about how important it was to take care of your skin, and nor did they even offer skin protection. So, as far as players getting skin burnt, it happened quite often. Even for a person like myself with darker skin, you could feel the irritation the next day. After football practice, you look at your shoulder and the top part is lighter and the bottom is darker – obviously you’ve had some skin issues.
Is there a stigma against skincare in the sporting community amongst men?
So I think nowadays it’s something that more men are starting to do. We never talked about it when I was playing early in my career. It wasn’t something like we were in the locker room like, ‘Oh man, your skin looks great! What are you putting on your skin?’. So, I think it’s a thing that more men are more comfortable sharing now. Back in the day, that was something that was never really talked about. So, I think the stigma is kind of knocked now. I think more men are more comfortable talking about taking care of their skin and things of that nature. But when I first came in the League it wasn’t something that was very prevalent.
Do you still keep active today?
I’m super active! I think I’m more active now. I like to swim, I like to cycle, I do yoga every day, I meditate. I still lift weights. The days of benching 400 pounds – those days are over. Squatting heavy weights; I don’t do that anymore. So now it’s more functional lifting – kettlebells, light dumbbells, a lot of core exercises. Flexibility to me is the key to life, so I love it!
What are your favourite garments to wear whilst training?
Solbari, because I think it actually fits me pretty well. But also, it wicks sweat so if you’re going outside, you can do a quick HIIT workout, some high intensity training, then still be able to go out to dinner. So, I love shirts like this.
What are your best sun protection tips?
So I want to make sure I’m fully covered. I have a routine for everything that I do, so morning time, I get up, wash my face, put on my skin protection, go about my day. Evening times, I sometimes give myself a facial, brush my teeth, wash my face, and put a night time cream on, as well. So I’m very careful when it comes to my skin just because of skin cancer and all the different kind of things that come about from being in the sun. So, for me it’s just about having a plan and taking care of your skin because your skin will take care of you.