Republican Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, a retired NFL player representing the state's 4th Congressional District, is scheduled to speak at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday.
Owens was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in a Baptist household in Tallahassee, Fla., where he was integrated onto an all-white football team in the 1960s amid the civil rights movement.
After graduating from Miami with a degree in biology and chemistry, Owens played in the NFL as a safety for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders between 1973 and 1982.
Owens has traveled across the country working odd jobs since retiring from his football career, but made his way to Utah in 2012 when he founded Second Chance 4 Youth, "a Utah-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled an[d] incarcerated youth," Owens' campaign website reads.
Burgess was married for 34 years before getting a divorce and has six children with his estranged wife, Josie, according to his website. He also survived prostate cancer.
In a July profile for the Salt Lake Tribune, Owens said he has ''always been a conservative" but previously voted "as a Democrat because we would talk [about how] that was the party in our favor."
The former football star is a supporter of policies that aim to support the working middle class. Owens' political interests range from protecting the Second Amendment and supporting pro-life legislation to lowering the cost of higher education, lowering taxes and adding jobs in Utah.
He has also expressed opposition to football players kneeling during the national anthem.
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