Denver Broncos’ Von Miller tackles poor eyesight with charity foundation

Denver Broncos' Von Miller talks to the press after receiving the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year at the 2012 NFL Honors at the Murat Theatre on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos' Von Miller talks to the press after receiving the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year at the 2012 NFL Honors at the Murat Theatre on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images)

Von Miller is the Denver Broncos’ tackling machine. He’s already been to the Pro Bowl twice after only being in the league for two years. Aside from his punishing hits, he’s also known for his fashionable eye glasses, which have fans and style mavens talking.

Von took his love for eyewear and used it as a platform to promote his charity Von’s Vision, which gives underprivileged youth free eye exams, glasses, and even offers free lasik surgery.

He sat down with theGrio at the unveiling of AXE’s  Face range and Shave line to discuss how having good vision contributed to his career success and what he’s learned about leadership from teammate and Denver Quarterback Peyton Manning.

What about good vision made you want to pursue it as a charitable effort?

I feel like society puts emphasis on maintaining your senses, eating the right foods, and personal hygiene, yet I feel not enough is not dedicated to your eyes. While you’re able to get your teeth fixed or replaced when they’re not cleaned properly, you only have one pair of eyes you know?

If you start off having a bad foundation in relation to your eyes at an early age, you’re starting off on the wrong foot as a kid. You’d be amazed to know how many kids need glasses, but aren’t aware that they have eye problems. I’m here with my foundation to solve that.

You’re known for your colorful eyewear off the field, but when did vision become a priority for you?

For me, coming out of college, that’s where I began to have the financial means to invest in my frames. I’ve always had the interest in fashion and it wasn’t until I started meeting and networking where the idea came in to my head that more than a few people grew up with similar eye problems.

Growing up, did your eyesight ever hinder your play on the football field?

My brother and I both found out early we had bad eyesight; but our mother was on top of it. We got annual eye exams and checkups and as I got older, I got to see the benefits of having strong vision and what it did for me on the field. That also improved my performance in school. I wasn’t able to see the chalkboard during the school day, which holds a lot of kids back as well. They just don’t talk about it.

The video game company Ubisoft donated $1,000 to your charity every time you sacked the quarterback. You had 18.5 which adds up to $18,500. How did it feel to have them support your cause?

It was a blessing. Ubisoft wanted to help elevate my platform to reach the masses. I’m also a huge gamer, who loves Assassin’s Creed, so it was an honor to have them in my corner.

What knowledge have you received from quarterback Peyton Manning since he became the leader of your team?

Transitioning from Tim Tebow, who was a great guy, to someone like Peyton Manning, who’s arguably one of the best players to ever play the game, it was definitely a difference. The way he lead our team on the offensive end is the way I want to establish us on the defensive end for many years to come.

You can check out Kyle’s musical coverage on theGrio music page, and follow Kyle on Twitter at@HarveyWins.