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TJ Watt and Six Star Nutrition Ditch Their Screens in 2022
Back in the Summer of 2020 Six Star Nutrition signed T.J. Watt, star Pittsburgh Steelers football player, to a multi-year endorsement agreement. We now see Six Star Nutrition, T.J. Watt, and his fellow Steelers teaming up in 2022 to be more productive in their downtime. The initiative isn’t what you might expect for some of pro football’s best athletes. They’re not planning to spend more time in the gym. Professional athletes already spend ample time staying fit. Nor is it better nutrition, seeing that most football stars are finely tuned machines who already obsess about what they put in their bodies. The answer is less non-essential time on screens, phones, and social media platforms and more time to focus on themselves.
The average American spends more than five hours each day on their mobile phone, with teenagers spending more than seven hours connected to screens during the pandemic. Some studies even suggest that humans may spend decades of their lifespan looking at a screen, either via TV, laptop, or mobile device. These issues extend to what young people are doing on those screens. According to Instagram’s own data, one-in-five teens say that the social media platform makes them feel worse about themselves. T.J. Watt, currently pro football’s sack leader and a candidate for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, is leading the charge for less non-essential screen time among players on his team. Watt committed to putting his phone and other screens down for a week, starting December 28th, as his team wrapped up the regular season. This does not include essential team meetings, which have been moved online as pro sports battle the pandemic like the rest of us.
“We know that it’s impossible for us to detach completely, especially with team meetings being moved online and needing to study game film, but that’s it,” T.J. said. “We’ve all seen the dangers of screen and social media addiction, especially during the pandemic. We’d like to ideally be communicating more in-person, understanding each other face-to-face, and creating acceptance offline, instead of intolerance online.”
The Pittsburgh effort is being championed by Watt’s supplement sponsor Six Star Pro Nutrition, which keeps one of pro football’s best fueled with its award-winning line of proteins, pre-workouts, and hydration products. In recent months, the brand has taken stances on where they’d like to see improvement in the sports world, including gender equality and Name, Image, and Likeness rights for student-athletes. Watt’s brother Derek is joining the effort, as are at least five other Pittsburgh teammates (Chukwuma Okorafor, Devin Bush, Trai Turner, Joe Haden, and Diontae Johnson) all of them committed to less screen time while raising awareness to screen and social attention in 2022 through the #TwentyYOU campaign. Players each posted a static post on Instagram notifying their followers that they’ll be logging off for a bit and why encouraging their followers to do the same as they head into 2022.
“Excess screen time has become a major problem in our society, whether it is tempting our ever-futile attention spans, showcasing unrealistic body images and cyberbullying – often with racial, homophobic or antisemitic contexts,” said Jarrod Jordan, Chief Marketing Officer at Iovate Health Sciences International Inc., the makers of Six Star® branded products. “What T.J. and Pittsburgh’s football team is doing through the #TwentyYOU campaign is noble in an era where athletes are keenly aware of their self-marketing responsibilities and sacrificing that for their own and their team’s collective goodwill only benefit them going forward.”
In recent years, athletes from all sports have been subject to cyberbullying, a trend that has only increased with the growing influence of fantasy sports and sports gambling, including in Pennsylvania where it is legal.
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