Michael Johnson trying to give back

Published 10:15 am Monday, July 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Michael Johnson hasn’t forgotten his roots in Dallas County.

Even though he spent nine of his 10 seasons on the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, the former Dallas County High School football player always knew where home was. And it is to family, teachers and coaches that Johnson owes a debt of gratitude.

While he may not be able to give back to them, he is working to pay it forward to the next generation of Selma and Dallas County kids.

Email newsletter signup

“To whom much is given, much is required, and to whom much is entrusted, much more will be asked,” Johnson said. “So I’ve always felt that, and there are multiple ways that you can pay it forward and give back.”

One of the ways he paid it forward was to assist Lachavious Simmons with his football camp on June 29 at Memorial Stadium. When he said that the camp was planned, he knew he had to be a part of it.

“I saw it on social media and they, promotions in the paper and stuff, and I reached out to him and asked could I come and help and volunteer? He said sure,” Johnson said. “I’m just glad to see him doing stuff in the community. If any of our athletes come back and I’m able to get involved with them, I’ll lend a hand.”

Johnson retired from the NFL in 2019 finishing a 10-year career. He was a nominee for the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year. After leaving the pros, Johnson took some time to relax and do some traveling, spending time with his family.

His foundation created a scholarship at Tuskegee in honor of his mother, Tuskegee University alumna Thomasene Johnson. He also has some coaching college coaching stints with South Carolina and Alabama State, but most recently, he has assisted Selma High School as strength and conditioning coach.

“So I’m just trying to pay it forward, take some of the things that I’ve learned throughout my journey and pass it on to our future generation,” Johnson said. There are all types of different ways that you can give back and pay it forward to your community, to the people that raised you. You can help improve the environment of the places you came from. It’s the mindset of teaching good habits that sets an example that people can see and strive to be like.”