There’s T.O. and there’s Terrell. SET got to hear from Terrell and he admits with lots of experience and maturity he’s coming from his heart.
Undoubtedly one of the most entertaining players in the history of the NFL and arguable one of the best receivers in the league, Terrell Owens opens up and shares insight in his life off the field. We get up close and personal with T.O. to discuss his new outlook on love, the hall of fame and life after football. Grab a drink, sit back and enjoy as we get the tea on all things T.O.
If you’ve followed Terrell’s life on and off the field you’d know he’s an open book. He admits, despite him being an open book, he is “hard to read,” which seems to be true when you think about all the past media coverage on Terrell Owens. From the outside looking in, there were moments throughout his career that made many of us question his thought process. But Terrell assured us, he’s much different than how he was portrayed in the media. He prides himself on the way his grandmother raised him. Raised primarily by his grandmother, she reinforced the importance of always being truthful, and to this day T.O. prides himself on the notion that “It can never be said that he lied or didn’t tell the truth”. He admits, initially, he didn’t know the politics of football so when he was asked a question he gave an answer based on what was asked. He quickly learned the power of the media. “It gives someone with a strong mind and will like myself a chance to defend yourself. It is not one-sided.” T.O. says confidently.
If you’re anything like us and caught any of the episodes of the T.O. show, you know all about Terrell’s quest for love. So of course we just had to get the skinny on his relationship situation. “I’m, single!” he quickly responds without hesitation, when asked about his relationship status. When he was on Dancing with the Stars he would say he’s single like Kraft Cheese. – The Kraft Singles.“ Until you see me posting and putting it out there that I’m not, I’m single and eligible.” Ladies…before you go grabbing your phone to hit T.O. up there are a few stats you should know.
Admittedly one of the best titles yet, Terrell is a proud father of five! Yes, five and I’m sure you’re wondering, so we’ll spare you the anticipation – that’s five kids with five different women and yes, three of them are black. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
T.O. understands the importance of spending quality time with his children and is diligent when it comes to spending individual time with each of them. As a father he prides himself on doing the best he can and remains cordial with each child’s mother. He knows that quality time with his children is very important growing up in an environment where he lacked a true father figure. It’s hard juggling co- parenting, but he tries to enjoy the moments he and his children have together. In school during spring breaks. “The best part about being a parent now is that I get to enjoy moments with them.” Says Terrell. He goes to the gym with his son. He’s able to do things with him that he never experienced when he was younger and watching his daughter play volleyball makes him proud.
“I want to be there for my kids for everything possible. If they need to talk about sex, I want them to come talk to me. These are conversations I never had with my dad.” Communications seems to be a reoccurring theme her, interestingly enough, Terrell definitely gets it. Like any relationship, open communication with children, is just as important. “My kids don’t have to make the same poor choices I did. I can do things with and for my children that my mom and grandmother never did.” He assures us.
Anyone with children can tell you, having children changes people. Terrell seems to agree. “As I’ve become a person of responsibility, I’ve realized I have someone that looks up to me and wants advice. My kids are an extension of me. I’m in a position to lead and teach and be there for them.,” He explains.
If you’re still interested and see Terrell as a good catch, go ahead and slide in his DM. “Let them slide!” is what he said when asked about those interested in hitting him up. T.O. admits he is ready for love. “Communication is key to the longevity of a relationship, especially to a marriage. Everything is not going to be peaches and cream. In order to see thru the hard times, you have to communicate and establish a friendship.” He adds.
Terrell admits he didn’t always think this way, but has learned a lot through trial and error.
“I’ve only had 2 real girlfriends. he says with a grin, “My idea of being in a relationship with just being in a room with someone. I watched my ex-girlfriend’s family and saw them travel, go places and do things together. They worked thru problems. I never saw that (in my household). My ex wanted to converse ( I didn’t really know how). Growing up me, my brother and sister would just sit and watch TV. We didn’t talk to each other, not about what we were going thru or really wanted.”
“If I knew how to communicate I’m sure I could’ve communicated better with management, coaches and players that had a problem with me.” T.O. says remorsefully.
There were several pivotal moments in sprinkled throughout Terrell Owens love life that gave insight into the importance of communication, but one remains very vivid in his mind to this day.
“The longest relationship I was ever in was 4-5 years. One day the young lady said you don’t even know anything about me. We broke up. She moved on. She was happy and I realized that what I didn’t provide for her made her stronger for her next relationship. That stung. But she was in a better place and that allowed me to grow.”
“I’m ready to be in love…”
Terrell is convinced he’s ready to be in love, but we had to dig deeper because well… you know.
“People don’t understand how critical communication really is and texting has made communication so impersonal.” Texting and Tones can complicate things. Pick up the phone and talk about it. Stop putting emoji’s. Pick up the phone and talk about it.” T.O. points out adamantly.
Even if you’re not an avid football fan, most people know of Terrell Owens, which I’m sure makes dating challenging. I mean, let’s face it, dating is challenging for the average person, so one can only imagine how difficult the process is for a celebrity. Which leads us to the question of the hour; How will Terrell know who is really about a relationship with Terrell Owens vs that woman who’s looking to gain access to T.O.? Surprisingly, he’s up for the challenge. “That’s the courting process. Just take the time to get to know someone without thinking about the end goal. The relationship will organically happen. I’m not trying to be Dr. Phil but I know that if you want different you have to do different.” Profound right?
Can we be frank? T.O.’s reputation precedes him, but after having the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview, it’s fair to say, Terrell the athlete and Terrell the person are two different people. He comes from humble beginnings. His mom and dad both picked cotton.
“The perception is I’m arrogant or cocky. Black women even think I don’t date black women. I have kids with black women. Growing up in Alabama those girls didn’t like me. I was skinny, dark-skinned and not handsome enough. That tinkered with my self-esteem on top of being bullied and teased. Those are the things that motivated me to do well in sports. Sports is how I was accepted. (before sports) I couldn’t date that girl because I was skinny or dark.”
That’s a polar opposite perspective of the man many often call Cocky. How can the narratives be so different you ask? Well, we did too.
“You don’t know me personally. You get second hand information – hearsay- from other sources. It can be a defense mechanism. I’ve had people, females not want to talk to me because they heard or asked someone about me and they changed because of what they heard. People talk and criticize me but one thing they’ll never be able to say is, ‘He’s had a DUI, domestic violence case, or criminal allegations brought up on him’. That’s character. Cocky – that’s reputation. I can’t control what people say. I’ve experienced defamation of character, and inaccurate information reported.”
Life has a way of changing a person’s perspective and for many, there are some harsh truths that are exposed. Terrell’s like so many of us, faced some all too common realizations when he went to college. Not everyone will like you, or think you’re attractive or smart, but believe there are those who will, it’s what you do with that information that’s important.
“Nobody knows the obstacles that someone may go thru. When I went to college and was exposed to a more diverse group it was natural for me to like who liked me. They say, ‘Black athletes, as soon as they get money they go date a white girl.’ As a freshman I wanted to date some upperclassmen that were black girls. The Deltas and AKA’s didn’t like me. I played basketball, one of the girls’ basketball players started liking me. She happened to be white. I liked who liked me. I’d hear it in random conversations about it. We live in a judgmental world. As an athlete it’s hard to date. I have 2 strikes already. 1. Athlete 2. Have kids. I’m a realist. My situation isn’t ideal, but hey I love my kids. I would never want to change that.”
There is so much controversy surrounding Terrell Owens’ induction into the Hall of Fame (HOF). The debate continues on if he is worthy and conversely if the invite is a little too late. There are people who hold strong arguments on both sides of the debate. Take a look at the criteria and TO’s stats and form your own opinion. But for Terrell, such an honor truly came at hefty price.
“It’s bitter sweet. I should’ve been in 2 years ago. Now I’m documenting my road to the Hall of Fame. Really I’m giving my career back to the people that mean the most, my family, true friends, trainers, everybody that was an integral part of my success Now there was a lot of work on my part, but getting into the NFL HOF is a flawed process. The voters are not adhering to what the HOF is made of. Think about any other sport. I’ll use AI (Allen Iverson) as an example. He didn’t have a squeaky-clean image, but they didn’t hold that against him in getting into the HOF. The NBA goes by what the player does on the court. The NFL should do the same.”
When asked what would be done differently, Terrell confidently replied, “I would still be playing.” For many of us who know the game, we’d definitely question his response, considering the average age to retire from the league is about 35.
“There is no doubt. I can still play the game. Age is nothing but a word. Lebron has been playing 15 years I couldn’t be your every down receiver. But I could play. “
It’s clear that there is so much more to Terrell. His fitness athleisure line is currently on hold but he’s staying busy with speaking engagements, technology, home décor and fashion. Can you see T.O. as a speaker?
“I’m reestablishing myself. Playing in the league and doing the things I did on the field helped, “he says confidently. “Everyone who has gained some level of success is able to speak on that topic. There are peaks and valleys in every profession, you can speak on experience. Football can be applicable to everyday life. Find ways to articulate/convey what it is that made you you so you can help others be better in whatever field of work they’re in.”
It’s clear that throughout his career, Terrell Owens had been faced with adversity. One would imagine that there were some serious lessons along the way. The beauty of experience is there are hidden gems that define the person you have become and through this interview we see T.O. in a different light. His experiences have returned infinite wisdom and his quest to share that wisdom has not gone unnoticed. His advice to athletes everywhere:
“Do your due diligence. Be involved because at the end of the day it’s your money. You will have family and people telling you what they can do. I would put my money in a bank not with a small financial person. Prioritize… take the time to go over your finances. If you have a financial planner hire a second set of eyes so you are protected and can clearly see what’s going on with your money. Educate yourself.”
Spoken like a true champ!