Sports fans might remember the name.
After growing up in poverty in Honolulu, Hawaii, Esera became a football star at Oregon State University and went on to play nine years as a defensive linemen in the NFL, suiting up for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaquars and Atlanta Falcons.
In fact, he was part of the Falcon’s NFC championship team in 1998. In that season’s Super Bowl, went down in NFL history as the last player to record a tackle of retiring Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.
Esera retired from the NFL himself in 1999. A couple of years later, he announced on HBO Real Sports that he is gay, a fact he hid throughout his football career.
In 2006, he wrote a book about the experience, saying he lived in constant fear that someone would find out his secret.
“The better I did, the more exposure I received,” he writes in “Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL.” “The more exposure, the greater the chance of someone discovering my secret. A secret that a man who plays the most macho of team sports is not supposed to have. The stress nearly killed me.”
He’s since devoted considerable time to LBGT causes. Head to his Facebook page, and you’ll see him lobbying on behalf of all sorts of fundraisers for those in need. He even created an anti-bullying campaign called Hate In Any Form is Wrong. And he and his partner adopted twins.
All along, he’s shown an interest in music.
While with the Packers, he once performed the national anthem in full pads, then rushed onto the field to start the game.
Back in 1996, the NFL released a compilation album of NFL players singing duets with country music artists. Esera was featured on one track, singing “Another Broken Heart” with Lari White.
In 2013, he released a single called “Stronger” with 14 remix versions. Today, Esera continues to perform the national anthem at sporting events of all types. Heck, the Packers even invited him back to sing the anthem at their 2014 and 2015 home openers.
And now, at age 49, the former second-round pick in the NFL draft is ready to perform on The Voice.
Here are Esera’s social media links, followed by a couple of clips demonstrating his vocal talent.
The Voice has done it again, rounding up an impressive array of talent for Season 13. Keep checking back for more profiles of the contestants we’ll meet when the blind auditions begin Sept. 25 on NBC. And for complete coverage of The Voice once Season 13 begins.