Former NFL stars Aaron Maybin and Bart Scott team up again to form “T-Shirts 4 Change”
During the 2011 and 2012 NFL seasons, it was a common sight to turn on any NY Jets game and see Bart Scott and Aaron Maybin fly around the field for the fast paced and dominant NY defense. What the cameras did not show however, was the life-long, brotherly bond being formed between the two. Nearly a decade later, that bond is as strong as ever and the two gridiron giants are teaming up once again. This time to fight a much bigger battle than they ever faced together on the field. “T-Shirts 4 Change” is here and it is already making a profound impact in the communities it serves.
Our story begins with Maybin. He was a 2009 1st round pick of the Buffalo Bills. He played only 4 short seasons in the NFL, 2 for the Bills and 2 for the Jets. However, Aarons story did not begin in Buffalo nor did it end in New York City. Aaron grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and from a young age, found an unwavering passion for the arts. A passion that still burns bright today. “I was creating art before I could form words. My love for art and my love for sports happened almost simultaneously. The only time I would sit still was when I was creating or studying.” Maybin adds “After my mom passed away when I was 6, art became my coping mechanism and really my first introduction to therapy. My parents saw my potential and fed the beast. They kept me disciplined and committed in art programs as well as athletics.” Despite being gifted and more well known in the realm of football, Aaron is somewhat of an art prodigy. By age 11, he was painting murals for the City of Baltimore. By middle school, he had scholarships to the Maryland Institute and College Of Art (MICA). He even majored in art throughout his college days at Penn State. All of that knowledge, all of that hard work and dedication has taken form in the amazing philanthropic work Maybin has done since stepping away from football. Maybin currently serves the community of Baltimore in a variety of ways. Perhaps, none more impactful than what he brings to the city’s education system. Due to lack of state-funding in Baltimore, many schools do not have curriculums or art workshops in place. That is where Aaron Maybin and “Project Mayhem” come in. Aaron has personally taken on a teacher role in numerous art programs around the city in order to serve the youth that may be at a disadvantage due to their socio-economic situation or geographical location.
When it comes to Bart Scott well, we all know the first thing that comes to mind are those famous two words, “Can’t Wait!” . I should know. In the few minutes I spoke to Bart, I must have tripped up and said it 15 times. Not my best moment. Moving on, Scott is a 11 year NFL vet. He’s a former Pro-Bowler and perhaps one of the best trash talkers the field has ever seen. He is also hands down one of the best analysts that can be heard or seen in the media these days. The former players usually are. You can catch Bart on “Bart and Hahn” weekdays at 12 PM ET on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM. Beyond all of those things, Bart Scott is a man who cares deeply about so many and the communities he has been a part of as well, just like Maybin. “To be able to take this platform I have and use it to serve the communities that have given me so much is unbelievable. Communities like Baltimore where I played the first 7 years of my career, New York where I finished it, Detroit who raised me and other places as well. They played such a vital role in my life so far, it is only right I give back as much as I can. To me, life is all about impact and what we can do to make the world a bit better, especially in these times.” Bart Scott’s “The Bridges Program” is certainly a foundation that is doing just that. It is a program dedicated to bridging the gap between young and diverse student athletes. Via exercise and competition, “The Bridges” connects youth from all walks of life regardless of background, economic or otherwise.
So, how did Bart Scott and Aaron Maybin reconnect to form a philanthropic powerhouse? Scott says “I always paid attention to Aaron’s work in the community and I obviously knew about his talent as an artist. When the events of the past year transpired, I knew I had to to get into action. I called Aaron. His art is always on point and he has always been so socially conscious. I told him how beautiful it would be to have my vision connect with his and put it on a t-shirt. Like most friends do, he said I got you. He has always had me and I have always had him. Aaron Maybin echoes the same sentiment. “Bart is my guy. There are very few people you play with that you forge lifelong bonds and relationships with. The first two years of my career up in Buffalo did not go well, everybody in football was ready to write me off. That’s when Rex (Former NY Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan) embraced me and brought me in. Bart was the first guy when I got there that welcomed me with open arms and there was clearly a kinship there”. Their bond grew stronger as they went to war every day for two years. However, it was the things Maybin saw off the field when he knew just how special of a person Scott was. “Football is one thing. The locker room is one thing. The real measure of a man is what he does off the field. After seeing what kind of father, husband and mentor he was, I knew Bart and I were gonna be connected for a long time.”
Alas, “ T-shirts 4 Change” was born. The collaboration is dedicated to spreading awareness to all the innocent black lives lost due to racial injustice, wealth fare gaps, Covid-19 and much more. 100 percent of the proceeds go to both “ The Bridges” and “ Project Mayhem” foundations as well as various other organizations joined in the same fight. All T-shirt designs come straight from the minds of Bart Scott and Aaron Maybin. Images include original portraits of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin, 4 innocent civilians whose lives were taken heinously at the hands of those who were motivated by nothing more than hate. There are many original designs as well, once again showing the range of talent and passion encompassed by these two men. After reading this, it should come to no surprise that this is where Bart Scott and Aaron Maybin are focusing their time these days because after all, “The true warrior does not fight because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
For more information, please visit www.tshirts4change.com