Moton Hopkins is ready for his next chapter with the Ottawa Redblacks.
After retiring from the CFL, you posted a heartfelt note on your social media in which you said that you are thankful to have accomplished ‘almost every goal you set out to accomplish’. What were those goals?
My goals going into the game of professional football were to always be the best player I could be, to play longer than the league average (three years), and to possibly win a championship.
It’s safe to say that you’ve done all three. But your decision to retire must have been difficult nonetheless. Have you received support from friends and family?
Yea, the decision to step away from the game was a difficult one. I got a lot of support from my immediate family and my girlfriend—a soon-to-be chiropractor. They obviously wanted me to get out while I’m still healthy, and having just won the Grey Cup, the time seemed right and certainly made the decision easier, too.
Easier sure, but football has been your life for almost 15 years, right?
Football has been a huge part of my life since I started playing in my freshman year of high school. It’s taught me so many things—lessons and values that are now a foundation in my life: Outwork everyone, no one is above the team, do things the right way, don’t stop until you hear the whistle, and trust your faith.
Football paid for my bachelor’s degree from a Top 100 University, it gave me countless teammates and friends for life. Most importantly, it gave me a platform to help make a difference in the community, and brought me to Canada (Winnipeg, Montreal, and Ottawa), a place I never thought I would see. I love this game for everything it gave me!
You’ve surely met a lot of amazing people along the way in your football career. Can you reflect on some of the mentoring and advice you’ve received, and the friendships you’ve made?
It goes beyond being friends or teammates—the respect and love I have for the men that helped to mould and coach me over the years is immense. Some of the teammates I’ve had at every level will be lifelong friends of mine. The fans, community, and support staff in every city I have been and played for hold a special place in my heart because they loved, embraced, and supported me, especially in my efforts to support children and families with special needs.
You do a lot of work for that cause (families and children with special needs) and you’re brother Matthew has played a huge role in that.
My brother Matthew, who is not only my favourite brother (laughs) is severely autistic, and we are blessed because he is also a happy, smiling, and loving young man. My brother stands 6’5” and weighs over 290lbs, and still listens to my mom when she tells him to do something (laughs). He motivates me daily to be thankful and happy, and he’s taught me that nothing is too big to overcome.
What other important lessons have you learned throughout your football career?
That Hard work beats talent in life, and that no one can be great by themselves.
What does it mean to you to achieve greatness as a part of a team, by bringing our city its first Championship in 40 years?
It means the world to me. With this being my first and only Grey Cup it will forever hold a special place in my heart. With Ottawa not having a team for over a decade and supporting us almost religiously through our first 2-16 season, the city deserved this championship.
You were on the design committee for the Championship Rings, can you tell us a bit about your role in their design?
It was an absolute honour to be on the committee that got to design a piece of history in Ottawa Sports. My role, along with Henry Burris and Jon Gott, was to give input as players as to what we wanted to have represent us as a team on our rings. ‘We R Family’ was something we said daily throughout the entire season, and it was our family mentality that helped us continue to be successful late in the season for the playoff push.
Tell us a bit about BeeMoFit, the fitness account you’ve started with your girlfriend Rebecca, who is a future chiropractor.
BeeMoFit is our way of trying to help individuals become healthier while achieving their fitness goals, and improve their day to day quality of life. My girlfriend and I decided to bring our unique backgrounds together to offer an authentic and natural insight on fitness, nutrition and well being.
Rebecca has a medical background, and she brings an understanding of how the body works and what it needs daily to be functioning optimally. I am a certified personal trainer and have 15 years of weight training, powerlifting (I won the Texas State powerlifting Championship), strength training (I had some of the best strength coaches in the business) and football training. That makes our combination special in the fitness world. Our initial goal was to help our family become healthier versions of themselves. Now, we want to share our mission with the Ottawa community, and continue to grow.
You’ve also starting a youtube channel that focuses on healthy cooking?
What Would Moton Order?! is my youtube channel. The concept came from my love of food and social media. The fans of #RNation came up with the name from the CFL’s campaign #WWMO (What We are Made Of) and I prefer the RNation version for some reason. The concept is to have a teammate or persona of interest come and either cook or order food with me! We’ll talk food, football, life, personal experiences with cooking, and some jokes along the way!
Where do you plan to focus your charitable efforts moving forward?
I recently partnered with Autism Ontario to help raise awareness, funds, and do some camps for their community. I’m also going to be working with Homeruns for Autism here in Ottawa which raise funds for Autism and CHEO’s Autism outreach. Because of Matthew, I understand the issues, difficulties, and blessings that come with having a family member on the spectrum. My goal is to be able to make it easier for these families to get the help they need, and to help people with autism become more included in everyday society.
Do you plan to stay in Ottawa? What’s next for you?
Yes, my plan is to stay in Ottawa. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to stay with and work along side the Redblacks and OSEG organization. I want to continue my work with Autism advocacy, get more involved in guest speaking, and be apart of the great Ottawa community.
Cover Photo: Vaughn Ridley
Other Photos: Marc Brigden