2017 Teddy Ball Host
Although you may recognize Griff’s name from his outstanding tenure in the National Football League, he started out as something of an underdog. A non-scholarship undersized cornerback who walked onto his college team with something to prove. It’s this fighting spirit he brings to Matador Enterprises, a company he created to help businesses break the financial binds that keep millions of their hard-working employees stuck in a credit-crushing cycle of debt - all because their employees don’t have bank accounts.
“Employees are forced to throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars a year simply to cash their own paychecks,” he says. “It’s death by a million cuts. That’s what the banking and payday lending industries do to these folks.” A gifted athlete, Griff grew up in the heart of San Diego. He hoped he could turn his skills on the field into a professional career, and escape the economic hardships he saw many of his extended family members and other community members endure.
“Seeing people struggle was always in my face,” says Griff. “It’s easy to become blind to what’s going on. Once something is established you think that’s the norm but it isn’t and it doesn’t have to be this way.”
Robert Griffith played thirteen seasons in the NFL, mostly for the Minnesota Vikings from 1994 to 2001. He also played three seasons with the Cleveland Browns, and two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, In 2008, he retired as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Robert also served as an Executive Member of the NFLPA (National Football League Player's Association) for six years. Robert was also a three-time All-Madden Selection, earned the 1999 Ed Block Courage and NFLPA Unsung Hero Awards, NFL Special Effort Awards and the 2000 Minnesota Man of the Year Award.