A Q&A with Lamar Hunt, Jr. of the Kansas City Chiefs Family.

A Q&A with Lamar Hunt, Jr. of the Kansas City Chiefs Family. June 18, 2020
Lamar Hunt Jr. Via Twitter
Every month, I have the privilege of interviewing Catholic “news-makers” – business leaders, bishops, entrepreneurs, ministry leaders, authors, etc. – for Legatus Magazine, a monthly publication for the association of Catholic business owners and C-Level executives.
I often profile those Catholic leaders for a 650-word Q&A profile called “Five Minutes With.” The interviews are great, but a problem I find is the short format of the profile in the print magazine results in a lot of interesting stuff the subjects say ending up on the cutting-room floor, so to speak.
In May, I did a great interview with Lamar Hunt, Jr., a member of the founding family of the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning NFL Super Bowl champions. Hunt is a Kansas City businessman and a devout Catholic convert who will be addressing Legatus’ annual “summit” for members in the western United States later this year.
Here are some interesting tidbits he told that I couldn’t get into the above-linked interview:

He helps to rebuild rebuilding Catholic schools in the inner city.

One of the things I’ll [talk about at the Legatus Summit West this year] is a school that we totally gutted and rebuilt in the inner city, and I’ll say, “I don’t have a second home. This is my second home.” By golly, every year 200 or 300 kids go through it, the outcomes are good and it’s Catholic. And I’ll talk about some of the things I’ve learned from others.

Where his passion for Catholic education comes from.

The fact that I got to go to St. Mark’s in Dallas, which I think might be the most heavily-endowed private school west of the Mississippi now. At the time I went, you wouldn’t have described it as that, but it was an alternative [to public education]. When I look back, the education I got there was wide and deep. There was music, art, drama and shop for those guys who wanted to learn to work with their hands. There were just so many things. We had taskmasters as teachers who made sure we knew “Three R’s” [reading, writing and arithmetic], and there was no argument about that. The appreciation for reading, a love of music, the lifelong friendships….

Catholic education is so important. Christ was and is a teacher. He was a relentless teacher, so we have to be that way with our own children and with hopefully the gift of other people’s children. And there are so many teachers who are willing to sacrifice.

Father John Harden’s book, “The Catholic Catechism,” convinced him that the Catholic faith was the true faith.

I was Methodist and went to St. Mark’s, an Episcopal boys school in Dallas. We were at least introduced to Christianity, but there were some vague things. It seemed like (Catholicism) crystallized everything for me. What really stood out for me was of course the history, the clarity of the commandments and beatitudes together. It’s one thing to say Jesus Christ is my lord and savior and I find my identity in Jesus Christ. It’s another thing quite practically to know what to go do. And I think that’s what impressed me about the book.

I know we’re sinners, and I think the path back is always there. The Enemy wants to make you think that forgiveness is impossible, but there in the Catholic Church are those practical steps back. There’s confession, the Eucharist, the sacraments. There’s all this stuff you can call upon, like Guardian Angels. I was sitting in a men’s group this morning and somebody was talking about their Guardian Angel. And I thought, “Golly, I wasn’t raised with the idea of a Guardian Angel, but you’re right. I need to be reminded that the Angel is there.”

Hunt talked about a moment late in the game when the Chiefs had just taken a late lead over the San Francisco 49ers.

In the game, we were up 24-20. We had scored two touchdowns lightning fast. Then they tell us we have to come down to the field and they’ve locked down elevators and down we go. I didn’t even see the last part of the game. I was sort of a little incredulous, and thought, “Guys, this is not over. Can’t we watch it?” When we got to the tunnel, I kind of pieced together what happened.

Hunt explained his devotion to St. John Paul II

When he was ordained a priest, there was never a day he missed saying Mass. Even when he got shot, he did it right there on the bed in the hospital with whatever table they could provide him. To me, the determination and single-mindedness… You tell athletes to leave it all out on the field, the court or the ice. Jesus left it all out there, and so did JPII.

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