Former NFL linebacker David Meggyesy talks to Ken Wilber about the extraordinary overlap that exists between sports and spirituality — and how professional athletes may be more familiar with experiences of spiritual transcendence than any of us might assume.
David Meggyesy is a former seven-year NFL linebacker with the St. Louis Cardinals. Meggyesy authored Out of Their League, his best-selling football autobiography which was included in Sports Illustrated’s 100 best sports books ever written. He has lectured and conducted workshops and seminars at more than 200 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Meggyesy co-founded the Esalen Sports Center, and for four years taught a seminar, Sports, Consciousness and Social Change, at Stanford University for Stanford University football players. For the past 25 years he served as Western Regional Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the NFL players’ labor union, and is Board President of Athletes United for Peace.
Meggyesy has been an advocate for change in professional and college revenue sports. In addition, he is a leader in developing a more comprehensive view of sport as a positive process for human growth and social transformation. He has conducted mind/body workshops applying various mindset techniques to improve athletic performance and enjoyment, and quality of life. Meggyesy was a head high school football coach and has mentored and counseled numerous elite college and professional athletes. He has written extensively on issues regarding sport and society, and sport and human potential, including articles for The New York Times, USA Today, Heartland Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times, among others. Meggyesy has been featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, HBO Sports and numerous radio interviews, print media and webcasts.
Meggyesy received a BA in History from Syracuse University and was enrolled in a Sociology PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis during his professional football playing career. During his playing career he was extensively involved in the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War Movements.