ESPN will debut the next installment in the Peabody and Emmy award-winning 30 for 30 series, The Minister of Defense on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 9 p.m ET. Directed by Ken Rodgers (Bullies of Baltimore, The Tuck Rule, The Two Bills) and Courtland Bragg (Hard Knocks: Training Camp, Hard Knocks: In-Season, All or Nothing), the film examines the complex and sometimes controversial life of Reggie White, one of the greatest players in NFL history.
Told in part through never-before-seen footage from a 2004 interview filmed two months before his death, the film chronicles both White’s incredible dominance as one of the best defensive players ever and his spiritual journey as an ordained evangelical minister who questioned his blind faith toward the end of his life.
Along with interviews with teammates from both the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, the film features Reggie’s son Jeremy who embarks on a journey to understand his father’s life, which ended tragically short at the age of 43. The Minister of Defense is a portrait of a man who constantly strived to “do right” but found that sometimes there is no easy answer as to what “right” means.
“We’re grateful to ESPN for supporting the story of Hall of Fame player who underwent a radical reexamination of his faith in the final years of his life,” said Courtland Bragg and Ken Rodgers, Directors of The Minister of Defense. “Although he’s been gone for two decades, Reggie White’s life is a parable for 2023 America, exploring how our strongly held beliefs must be continually challenged in order to grow. This is a side of Reggie very few people got to see, until now.”
“This is a rich, multilayered film about one of the greatest defensive players in the history of football. From his dominance on the field, to his family life and complicated personal journey, the film shows a different side of Reggie than we’ve ever seen. He was a preacher, a husband, a father, and a complex human being, and capturing all these elements is what makes our film special. We can all relate to the search for deeper meaning in our lives, and it’s important that we tell stories like these that transcend the game itself,” said Marsha Cooke, Vice President & Executive Producer for ESPN Films and 30 for 30.
Advance press screeners, additional information, including film clips, director statements, and interviews are available upon request.
About ESPN Films
ESPN Films has been an industry leader in documentary filmmaking since its inception in March 2008, producing more than 100 documentaries that have showcased some of the most compelling stories in sports. The high quality of storytelling, highlighted by the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning 30 for 30 series and the Academy-Award winning documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” has led to record viewership as well as multiple honors and critical acclaim. Additional projects from ESPN Films over the years have included 30 for 30 Shorts, Nine for IX, SEC Storied and Emmy award-winning docu-series “The Last Dance.” ESPN+ is the exclusive home for the entire 30 for 30 library.