TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Kim Murphy has become the official, unofficial team mom of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I have teammates that come over here now,” said Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. “Jamel Dean comes over here all the time. Bryant Mitchell, Dakota Dixon, they come over here and eat food. They’re over here when I’m not even here. They all call my mom and let her know they’re on their way and she lets them in. I come in and they’re just in here chilling and hanging out. It’s pretty cool. They call her ‘Momma Kim.’ It’s something they’ve gotten comfortable with– got comfortable around her really quick. That’s just a testament to her personality and how caring and giving she is.”
And that’s the way it’s always been.
“They used to call it the Kool-Aid house and now it’s the Gatorade house,” said Sean’s mother, Kim Murphy. “With raising four boys, athletes were always at my house. I go to the games and walk past and it’s “Hey ma, hey ma,’ from little league on up.”
So it’s only fitting she started a non-profit called “Successful Jocks and the Women Behind the Uniform,” an organization whose mission is to help empower women to raise champion men– inspire and guide other moms to help their sons reach their full potential.
“When Sean got drafted,” Murphy said, “I started really talking to a lot of mothers and other mothers in the NFL and just putting two and two together. Just going over my experiences and everything that I went through. I know I was blessed to be a blessing and just giving back has been a part of me. I wanted to give back and I wanted to provide a road map to my story and to show other women that I’m not trying to get their sons to the NFL. That’s not what I’m trying to do. But just successful men– champion men in general– for them to be successful in the game of life.”
“Back when she first started it, I was full support– fully behind it,” Murphy-Bunting said. “I thought it was an amazing idea. I know how much it helped me and how much she helped me along the way so I knew how much she could help other mothers in that situation.”
The original name was just “Successful Jocks,” back in 2016 when she started it, but it evolved into its full name “Successful Jocks and the Women Behind the Uniform” last year, with an emphasis on lifting-up other mothers.
“I wanted to be a blessing to other women and provide that road map and inspire them to keep going,” Murphy said. “You have to believe in your children first before anybody will believe in them, so that’s why I added “and the Women Behind the Uniform.’ It’s about the athletes and the women. We are the superwomen. I know that I’m a superwoman times four — to the fourth power. I’ve done a lot.”
And Sean was quick to agree.
“I try to tell her as much as possible how much it means to me and how much she means to me,” Murphy-Bunting said. “Everyone knows me for just being a momma’s boy in general. So it definitely means the world to me just knowing that I have that much support and I’m always being blessed. I’m always having faith because she never lets me get down on myself. At the end of the day, women run the world. You think about a house, you know a house isn’t a home unless a women’s there at the end of the day. That’s how I feel. She just really motivates me and makes me be the best that I can possibly be each and every day.”
A lot of this has come naturally to Kim, who is a licensed professional counselor. But it’s her can-do attitude and drive that Sean says sets her apart– and what he admires most about his mother.
“Her determination is second to none,” Murphy-Bunting said. “If she says she’s going to do something, then she’s going to do it. She’s going to get it done when she says. She doesn’t procrastinate.”
Much of Kim’s work has been put on hold because of the pandemic, but in the meantime, she’s been working on building their social media presence and connecting with organizations and corporations in the Tampa area in hopes of collaborations down the line.
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