Written by: Mark Pollard
Stevie “Shakespeare” Baggs, Jr is not only a three-time All American and former 10-year veteran of the National Football League and Canadian Football League. Who’s also recognized as the only athlete to play for 11 professional football teams, including the Detroit Lions, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He’s a loving son, Health and Wellness Ambassador for the city of Atlanta, a thriving entrepreneur hailing from the great Bethune-Cookman University with a degree in International Business, oh and also he’s the newest bachelor on We TV’s Match Made in Heaven. Baggs gets up close and personal with Kontrol on all his latest endeavors.
Coming from on the field to the fast pace world of business didn’t seem like much of a struggle for Baggs, he goes on to explain what its been like trading in the cleats for a pair of oxfords transitioning into the business savvy man he is today.
Its been a very transcendent one, to be able to play ball on 11 teams for ten years many people would look at that as a negative, but I call myself Dr. Never Give Up because during that time you know having a degree in international business, also studying French, and just you know being able to transition into the corporate world and do my thing, I’m just thankful to have a vision to keep pushing towards the gifts the creator has given me.
Throughout his professional football career, Baggs has help empower youth and adults nationwide as a motivational speaker as well as being honored as the City of Atlanta’s Health & Wellness Ambassador by Mayor Kasim Reed. Celebrating his CETA foundation’s (Creating Empowerment through Autonomy (CETA)) 14th year of service to at-risk communities, Baggs gives us a rundown on his foundation and how it all began.
CETA came about through my mother, who is also the executive director and co-founder. She was the driving force behind CETA to help start it. When I was at Bethune she would bring young women from an orphanage to the house and teach them self-empowerment and etiquetcy. And that kind of birthed the CETA Foundation. Baggs continues, “We have a number of different objectives focusing on health and wellness, character and leadership development and technology. We have four afterschool programs in Atlanta so we’re impacting a lot of people you know everyday on curriculum.”
In addition to these endeavors, Baggs is also an author, writing the best-selling book “Greater than the Game”.
Greater than the Game is a lot different from your normal everyday stories, you know everybody has become accustomed to somebody that’s come from the hood and then made it into the league or had a hard time then they find success you know those stories. I feel like my story is a little different in the fact that I was the first person in my family to go to college, I made it into the league but I didn’t have that happy fairy tale ending with football. My book is based off of 7 plus 1 principles including: family, faith, fitness, finance, focus, forgiveness and football. Baggs continues, Just trying to help people understand that if your work is based on your bank account or your occupation alone you’ll always be broke or broken so I just wanted to inspire and encourage people to find out what there worth is beyond the game that there in a from a corporate perspective and find out the game that’s been played on our people from a cultural perspective as well and that’s what I wanted to get across.
Doing a little acting as well, with appearances in Tyler Perry’s “For Better or Worse”, and alongside Will Smith in the movie “Focus”, Baggs has become quiet the actor on the scene lately, and with a new film on the rise alongside comedian legends Steve Martin and Chris Tucker, Baggs lets us in on his new endeavor on the big screen.
Acting just kind of came and happened and now I have kind of an affinity for it. You know my little brother was the actor before I was so it was just something that I never thought was in my path, but I’m so thankful that I unpacked it because it obviously is.
As you might be able to tell this former athlete spends much of his time now as an entrepreneur. He is not only one of the founders for the CETA Foundation, but he’s also the founder of Shakespeare Enterprises, an entertainment company founded in 2014 and owner of Atlanta’s Dream Cafe.
Dream Café is an empowerment center, a café, and an entertainment kind of hub or house you know. We host an open mic every Thursday night which has been a staple for us we’ve had some amazing talent here and a few people have actually gotten signed with some deals, that’s really cool. I’m really thankful for that, and then there’s Shakespeare Enterprises where my book is under and all my television and film stuff I do is all under Shakespeare Enterprises, which is a form of entertainment.
Speaking of entertainment, we’re good and in the season of “Match Made in Heaven” on WE TV where Baggs is the new bachelor. Baggs goes on to explain his love life and the show.
This show has given me the opportunity to show people how a black man can love you know what I mean, and I say this in the most humble way possible. I’m at a point in my life where I’m super open to having an outside of the box mentality when it comes to finding love, because its so easy to be inside of a box. I’ve already traveled the world and met so many people that now I’m at a point of sustainability in my life its really good to take a chance on finding love.
As a twist this season on the show the beautiful women all vying for Baggs heart is unknowingly being watched by someone in the house as well, and that someone is Baggs beautiful mother Lola who is also featured on the show as well.
For me it wasn’t anything super difficult because I work with my mom every other day or everyday rather, she’s my mother but she’s also my friend and my business partner and you know I respect her opinion but I also take everything with a grain of salt as well, this is my life and I got to live this life you know. So it’s just beautiful to have such a transparent relationship with someone who loves you, and whom you also know doesn’t have an alternative motive to hurt you.
With a lot of love in the air and 18 potential wives you have to ask the question, what is the ideal woman for Mr. Baggs?
As a man we’re factual creatures to a degree so of course a woman who’s beautiful and who’s disposition matches, that’s really important to me as well as a woman who has a belief in the creator and who’s close to her family. Also a woman who has drive and ambition that can pull the greatness out of me and I can pull it out of her.
So what can you expect to see in the show? Well you’ll have to tune in and find out.You can catch Baggs, his mother and the beautiful hopeful women of Match Made In Heaven every Thursday on WE TV at 10pm/9pm central.
@StevieBaggsJr (Instagram / Twitter / SnapChat)