Summer 2024

Legendary Georgia RB Herschel Walker puts faith in God to save chicken business

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are now being felt in almost every area of American life, and the disruption to the food supply chain is certainly no different. Herschel Walker, a 1980 national champion and the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner with the Georgia Bulldogs, is in the middle of it.

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Walker is the founder and CEO of Renaissance Man Food Services Inc. (RMFS), a meat-processing company headquartered in Dublin, Ga. RMFS sells poultry products to hotels and restaurants through supplier partners, yet many hotels and restaurants have shut their doors during the pandemic.

RMFS has seen a 50-percent loss in business, but is also not guaranteed to receive loan money from the Payment Protection Program due to a lack of funds.

“We deal with a lot of banks but when stuff like this happens, banks forget about you,” Walker told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. “They make it very difficult to even talk to them. I have people that are calling (for relief) and doing all that, but we’re not sitting around waiting for that. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, we have to be prepared to keep going.”

One of the plans of RMFS is to provide the roughly 200 employees at the company with their salaries and benefits for the next three months. Walker said he would cut his salary if it becomes necessary to keep the company afloat.

“As a team, you can do some great things; as an individual you can’t do anything,” Walker said. “We’re a team here. If you decide to let one person go, it may hurt someone else, then it’s a domino effect. As long as we’re working to keep everyone together, I think that’s a good thing. Who knows? Maybe it’s the worst decision I’ve made, but right now I think God is going to do some miracle things and I have faith in that.”

Sports Spectrum Magazine profiled Walker in 2013. The story traces Walker’s struggles with mental health and the peace he has found in his relationship with Christ.

“First off, I want to say that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,” Walker said. “He said if I don’t acknowledge Him, He won’t acknowledge me.”

Walker later added: “I tell people all of the time just because you’re a Christian you’re not going to get a bed of roses. You’ve got those thorns, too. Because you’re a Christian it can be very difficult for you. You have a cross to bear.”

Walker, now 58, had a prolific three-year college career at Georgia. He rushed for 5,259 yards and 49 touchdowns in 33 games and is widely considered one of the best college football players ever. He left Georgia after his junior season to join the now-defunct United States Football League for three seasons. He jumped to the NFL when the Dallas Cowboys acquired his rights by drafting him in the fifth round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

He played 12 NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Vikings, Eagles and Giants. He made the Pro Bowl in 1987 and 1988 with Dallas.

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