Meet Donté Stallworth. You may know him from his previous working life – an NFL wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and the Washington Redskins. Now, he’s a National Security Fellow at the Huffington Post. We caught up with him about his transition to journalism.
1. How did you get into journalism with Huffington Post? Were you in the same fantasy football league with Arianna?
I’m ashamed to say that I have never played fantasy football after years of telling friends that I would. Needless to say, I’ll play this year. It’s actually a long story and I’m the worst at being brief, so… I’ve always loved to write since I was a kid so that desire to get into journalism was going to happen sooner or later in my life. I had written a couple pieces for Think Progress on sports but I was just as interested in writing on politics — if not more. I had relationships at HuffPost for a while and would stop by the DC offices whenever I was in town. I was to begin blogging for HuffPost last year but didn’t get around to it when I started my internship with the Ravens. I stopped by one day just a few days after my internship ended with the Baltimore Ravens and we started talking about the fellowship and the rest is history.
2. Who is the better boss: Dan Snyder, Bill Belichick or Ryan Grim?
Ryan is for sure the worst! Ha ha — no, Ryan has been great. He’s been a good leader. His support and guidance have been paramount to my transition to become a journalist. Things I’ve learned from him will always stick with me and I can go to him for anything and that’s what a good boss is — Ryan is that.
3. When you’re interviewing Members of Congress, do you think they realize you were a former NFL player?
I’m on the Hill occasionally and some of the Capitol police recognize me and ask how the transition from football to politics is going — after I ask for directions because I always get lost whenever I’m in the Capitol. But during the State of the Union, a few members of Congress recognized me and welcomed me to politics, which I thought was pretty cool.
4. You’ve just finished a long day chasing stories, arguing with your editor about edits and the White House calls. President Obama wants to kick-it with you for the evening in DC. Where are y’all going?
We would probably go to The Source over by the Newseum. Great food and a good atmosphere. And there is a lot we’d have to talk about — clearing me for classified information of course.
5. What has been the most interesting aspect of your new foray into journalism?
Just learning how to write. I have no journalism background. There’s such a production that goes into writing an article that I had no idea. There has been a lot for me to learn and I still have a long way to go, but just the process that goes in before you publish a piece is fun. But also I’d have to say going to the Hill, the White House, the State Dept and Pentagon have been some of the coolest things I’ve ever done.