Jan. 23 (UPI) — Hello Hello America and Fox NFL Sunday host Michael Strahan received the 2,744th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, becoming the first sports entertainer to achieve the honor.
“We are very pleased to announce the first sports entertainment star in Michael Strahan,” Ana Martinez, producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, said in a statement.
“Sports fans will be excited to see their favorite sports stars involved in the entertainment industry get their stars. Michael’s extensive background in sports and sports makes him a great addition to the popular channel.”
Martinez hosted the event, and former NFL player turned television and film star Terry Crews, and SMAC founder and CEO Constance Schwartz-Morini were on hand to support Strahan.
Strahan also holds the $100,000 Pyramidjoint production with SMAC and ABC.
The gold standard in a crowded field of NFL players turned television personalities, podcasters and pundits, Strahan is also an unknown menswear brand, which has added skincare and boys’ lines in the seven years since its inception.
Schwartz-Morini recalled how he and Strahan met when Strahan co-wrote a song with Randy Travis called “Brinks Truck” on the NFL’s national anthem album in 2006. up when Strahan retired in 2007.
“In the mid-90s when [NFL executive] “Tracy Perlman and I were defending our list of players to be on the NFL Jams and the country albums, you were the only player who should have been on both,” he said.
“But that’s who you are—the person who isn’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things and break the barriers of those who come after you, while doing it your way.”
Staff said he felt honored to speak on behalf of his friend at the event.
“Nothing symbolizes stardom more than Michael Strahan. We’re ex-actors and we’re talking and he said, ‘Dude should I try this Hollywood thing?’ I was like a man, my friend, your personality, what you are, your smile is charming. If you don’t, you’re making a mistake.
“As a black man, as an actor, every American should try to be the kind of person that he is. The one word I have for Michael Strahan is integrity,” Crews added.
“When I was going through the hardest time in my life, the only person I could call was Mike. And he didn’t just support me – he put me on my stage so I could tell my story the way it should be told.
“The integrity he has shown at this time in my life I will never forget and everyone here on his behalf knows this.”
In his comments, Strahan, 51, said that in life, everyone wants to feel valued.
“I was that kid who got looked at in a lot of ways. When I had chores like washing the dishes in the kitchen or mowing the lawn or moving the furniture, I wasn’t always looked at as if I had a purpose,” she said to the audience watching in the area near the star’s newest location on Hollywood Boulevard.
“You felt that you were looked at in a way that you were worthless,” he added. “I’ve always wanted to make the people around me feel like they have purpose and value.”
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year who played all 15 years of football with the New York Giants, says the team’s vision is important to him.
He cited his parents, including his mother, Louise, who attended the ceremony, and his late father, Gene. The two were married for over 60 years.
He said his father instilled in him values that he tries to replicate in his role as a father of four children. His three daughters, Tanita, Isabella and Sophia, attended the event, along with his mother.
“I never thought I would be on TV. It just happened,” he said, acknowledging his current and former agents, Disney CEO Bob Iger, ABC president Kim Godwin and several Fox executives in attendance.
“I learned that in every job you have, you can go to work and enjoy it,” he said of working with him Fox NFL Sunday. “There hasn’t been a Sunday in 15 years that I’ve walked into that studio and said I’d rather be somewhere else. Ever, ever, and I mean that from my heart.”
Strahan concluded his remarks by saying that he had two goals in pursuing a career after almost dropping out of college, which he said his parents would not allow him to do.
“I wanted to make my mother and father proud and, by extension, my children. And I wanted to earn enough money so that I wouldn’t have to go back to my parents, and achieve both things, I hope.”
He added, “This is not just my name written [the plaque]. This is the entire Strahan family. “
His ABC co-hosts, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Fox NFL Sunday featuring Jay Glazer, Curt Menefee, Howie Long, rap star Wiz Khalifa, an Fun tonight host Kevin Frazier was there to support Strahan, as well.