“I was bawling like a baby”, Roy Green said as he spoke of the moment he was first notified that the Arizona Cardinals would be inducting him in to the Ring of Honor. That is a respectable reaction considering what Michael Bidwell, President of the Arizona Cardinals, said about a place where only 15 other Cardinals players have managed to seal their names to in Cardinals franchise history since 1920. “Look at that Ring of Honor as a special place and you want to put special players in there,” he said. “And you look at Roy’s complete body of work and offense, defense; back in the day when we had a 45-man roster limit, he was our emergency quarterback and also ran the scout team as the quarterback in practice.
Green, in 12 seasons with the St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals, caught 522 passes for 8,496 yards and 66 touchdowns; those receiving statistics coming from only 10 of the 12 years spent as a Cardinal due to the first two years playing exclusively as a defensive back. He added another 1,932 yards and one touchdown as a kick returner and intercepted four passes. As of now Roy is second in total receiving yardage as well as touchdown catches. He ranks fourth in career receptions and is third in individual combined yardage. John Madden honored Green in his annual All-Madden Team, stating that at one point, he regarded Green as not the best wide receiver in the game, but the best player. Green still holds the cardinals record yards per reception 21.5 and yards per touchdown at 48.5.
The press conference was said by the Bidwells to be “one of the most fun press conferences” they’ve had as Roy Green was full of laughter, memories and jokes. As a guy who teammates declare to be one of the hardest working guys on the field, Green continues to live up to the reputation off the field. Not only is he part of the broadcast team for the Arizona Cardinals, he has a dedicated schedule allocated to lending aide to other current/former players across the country regarding their overall health.
In 2012, Roy Green was diagnosed with kidney disease due to the long-term use of anti-inflammatories during his playing career in the NFL. Following a year of dialysis three days a week, his daughters, Miyosha, 30, and Candace, 26, both offered to donate a kidney to their father. Both daughters were matches, but Miyosha was chosen to donate. Green had successful surgery on Nov. 14 at the Mayo Clinic. Roy’s player health initiative was a result of the three heart attacks and two strokes he suffered in addition to the kidney failure that had occurred prior.
Since being retired from the NFL, Roy Green has shifted his focus to helping improve the well-being of current and former professional athletes through promoting sleep apnea awareness across the country. He has teamed up with David Gergen, Executive Director of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, and a company called Pro Player Health Alliance to hold free public awareness events and private player health screenings in communities all over the nation. After becoming a member of Pro Player Health Alliance and using his extensive amount of connections to players, he has helped get over 1,600 former players successfully tested and/or treated for obstructive sleep apnea. What he’s done on the football field pales in comparison to what he’s done for players’ health.