CHESAPEAKE -- A former pro football player from Chesapeake says he suffered a concussion when he was attacked by a group of teens.
Beard says he approached the group in order to try to restore peace. Instead, they turned on him.
'I stayed on my bike when they circled me,' described Beard.
The 71-year-old says about 15 teens started attacking him and that he was knocked unconscious. He also suffered a black eye and cuts and bruises.
Some Chesapeake residents wondered if Beard would stop volunteering in the community, but he says he wants to use the experience to create positive change.
That's why he spoke to youth football players on on the Chesapeake Tigers little league Thursday after practice. Beard spoke of his time in the NFL and making smart choices.
The former NFL player says it was a way to speak to a group of teens who were willing to listen, unlike those who ran off after they beat him.
'Right from when Iwoke up on the street I was saying that something constructive was going to come out of this,' Beard said.
For the parents and coaches of the underpriveleged players, it was a welcome addition to the season and a way to encourage the kids to make smart choices.
'It's sad when you see kids disrespecting people,' Robin Hogan, parent and league volunteer said of the young people who attacked Beard.
'It's hard to take it out on the children because they probably were never shown the proper way to treat people in life. You hope by coming out here and sahring this message with children, they will learn,' Hogan said.
The Chesapeake Tigers are only in their second year of competition after Councilman Cliff Hayes encouraged private groups in the South Norfolk community to donate time and funding to begin the league.
'Most of them come from low income areas, half of them don't live with their own parents. They don't get shown values or morals and coming out here and having these volunteer coaches and having Ed Beard talk to them shows them to be responsible and make good choices,'Hogan, a single mom, said.
Chesapeake police haven't identified any suspects in Beard's attack.
Ed Beard starred at Oscar F. Smith High School and played linebacker and on special teams from 1965 to 1972 for the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chesapeake Tigers have seven teams up for champtionship games this year but are fundraising in order to go to those games.
If you'd like to donate to the Chesapeake Tigers Football League, contact Robin Hogan at 757-352-0628.