Sometimes in life, it may feel like the odds are stacked up against you. It might seem like life is trying to tell you to quit and it may seem like the easier option at the time. However, it is not about what happens to you in life; it is about how you react to it and push through the adversity. Nobody knows this better than wide receiver of the Birmingham Iron, L’Damian Washington.
Washington was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in May of 1991. He was faced with hardship very early on in his life when his father was murdered when Washington was just six years old. His mother, Sonya, raised the four brothers on her own, giving them everything that she possibly could.
In 2006, things got even harder for the Washington brothers when Sonya died of a stroke after leaving one of L’Damian’s basketball games. L’Damian was just 15 years old at the time of his mother’s passing.
Instead of having the brothers separated, the oldest Washington brother, L’Courtney, became the legal guardian. An unbreakable bond was formed between the brothers as they all took care of each other through these trying times and still remain very close to this day.
L’Damian went to the University of Missouri on a football scholarship, but also took his academic career very seriously. He graduated in four years with a psychology degree and uses that to aid his pursuits in motivational speaking. On the field in college, he was very successful, becoming a starter for the team as a junior. He had 59 receptions for 692 yards and 10 touchdowns in his senior season despite missing five games due to turf toe.
Despite the success he found with the Missouri Tigers, Washington went undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft. He was quickly signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, he was cut due to injuries on the defensive line.
Washington bounced around to seven different NFL teams in just two years, but was never able to get any reps with any of the teams. He thought his career was finished, while a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he split his calf in two, tearing it off the bone.
With his NFL opportunities dwindling, Washington signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL, but was cut from their team not long after. He then was able to sign with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he was able to get his first taste of professional football action. He appeared in eight games and had 24 receptions for 246 and he also posted two touchdowns. He was then cut from the Blue Bombers before the beginning of the 2018 CFL season.
During the summer of 2018, Washington was ready to call it quits on his football career and focus on his motivational speaking. He gave football everything that he had, but just could not catch a break. It was not until September of 2018 when a break finally came his way.
The Birmingham Iron of the AAF offered him a contract for the inaugural season and Washington could not say no as this would possibly be the last chance to make a go of a career in football. Through the first three games of the season, Washington has had six receptions for 55 yards and no touchdowns to this point. He had a breakout game against the Atlanta Legends in week three and looks to be getting better each week.
Life has not always been easy for Washington, on and off the field, but he is a true example of persevering and never giving up on your dream.