In the nearly 10 years that he has played in the National Football League, Dante Wesley has leaned on his faith and his health to allow him to survive a game that most men only dream of playing.
“It has been a blessing to be in the league as long as I have,” said Wesley, a graduate of Arkansas-Pine Bluff who was drafted in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers in 2002.
“There were plenty of guys who were better ball players than me when I was in college,” said Wesley, a free agent who graduated from Watson Chapel High School in 1997. “I asked God to wrap his arms around me and allow me to do His will. I knew that I would be successful if I followed what the Lord laid on my heart.”
Wesley, a resident of Cedar Hill, Texas, works out each morning for nearly 3 hours during the offseason. He believes that he can play at least three additional years in the NFL.
“When my playing career is over, I want to work with young people and I want to devote a large part of my life showing people how they can live fruitful and healthy lives.”
When Dante and wife Renetta are not at home with their two children, Skylar, 6, and Dante, 5, they can be found either in church or at a healthcare exhibit where Dante markets children supplements to people who come to his booth, particularly after seeing a picture of him in full NFL gear.
“Most people are not giving their children a healthy diet,” said Dante, whose children eat a daily regimen of food supplements called MannaBears.
“We want our children to have a full and adequate complement of fruits and vegetables,” said Renetta. “It is good for their growth and their socialization. We have seen the benefits in our own children and we want to share our experience with others.”
Dante Wesley said his late mother was a nurse who instilled in him the importance of eating right and taking care of his body.
“Unfortunately, the nutrients that we need are not in the foods that we purchase in the supermarkets. That is why Renetta and I are so big on supplementation. In fact, in the NFL you will find many, many players who are looking for food based health supplements that will give them an edge, a boost, a decided advantage.”
“Our children and their health, and our own health are very important to us, said Renetta, who like her husband, is a native of Arkansas. “ My mother and father were very strict when I was being raised. They wanted the very best for me and my sisters, and that is what we want for our children.”
Dante Wesley said those who are successful in the NFL are always planning and thinking.
“Planning and a sense of faith have always been at the center of my life,” he said. “When I walk on the field to play, I pray that the same God who gave me life will protect me and protect others who I am playing with and against.”