Jason and I had a great podcasting conversation with our good friend Michael Stone. We were incarcerated together for over a decade. Michael was released just a few months ago after serving over 20 years on a 25 to Life sentence as a 3 striker. Growing up he was a star athlete with opportunities to play professional baseball. He is a tremendously talented artiste who signed a rap contract with the son of the famous Quincy Jones. He is a brilliant artist who also draws, paints, tattoos, and is a deeply contemplative and introspective poet. He had a learning disability growing up and was super proud when he earned his GED. He was never able to deliver his poem at his graduation, but he generously decided to share that piece of his poetry in this episode.
We played softball and basketball with Michael. We watched him thrive as one of the creators of "Louder than these Bars" a group of slam poetry artists! Before paroling he joined CROP Organization on the inside for a program we co-created called, "Coaching for Life." Coaching for life invites coaches to leave the toxic male way of coaching in the past while teaching that players should love one another, be people of character, and live for causes outside of the sport that are bigger than themselves. We had our first Coaching for Life event out which featured world champion athletes from the Giants, Dodgers, Seahawks, and Patriots. Michael joined us and delivered a phenomenal piece of poetry sharing his personal transformation from toxic masculinity to healthy manhood.
Michael was willing to be vulnerable in this episode. We are grateful for his willingness to share his transformational story in such an honest way. You can reach out to him about his various forms of art on Instagram @528stoneyboyart and on Facebook @https://www.facebook.com/mike.stizzy.7