Over the weekend I met with Tywan Anthony, local Bed Stuy resident who is also the owner and founder of the Bedford Stuyvesant Crusaders. (Turns out we are neighbors — we go to the same laundromat.) Ty was born and raised in Bed Stuy and went to Florida to finish high school. He played football all over the place before returning back to the neighborhood. This guy wears a lot of hats — he’s a property manager, he’s worked with City Council and the NAACP, he also serves on Community Board 3’s economic development committee. Oh yeah, and he started Bed Stuy’s first semiprofessional football team. The team, now in its second season, is open to players 18 and up. There are currently around 50 players, of various experience levels, from ages 18 to 45. And while many of the players are based here in the neighborhood, you don’t have to be.
Ty shared a really inspiring story on why he started the team, which is focused on sportsmanship and mentoring. “We want to reach out to disenfranchised young men,” he told me. The Bed Stuy Crusaders tape every game so promising young players will have footage to send to schools. “We want to give young men the opportunity to go to school and play for a team on a scholarship,” he said. He also wants to give the neighborhood a football team to root for. Their goal is to start playing games at the Boys and Girls High School — hopefully that will be happening soon. (The team plays one game a week and you can keep up with their schedule right here.) The team was also registered as a New York State nonprofit, and just secured a $4 million insurance policy.
Ty hopes the team will eventually make it to an out-of-state bowl. But he’s looking for the support of the community first. Follow these guys on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and stay tuned for upcoming game details. Go Crusaders!
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