Justin Forsett certainly made his mark in the NFL, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2014. And yet, what he’s been able to accomplish off the field has been even more impactful.
Forsett created a brand called Hustle Clean in 2017 along with two of his former college football teammates, Wale Forrester and Wendell Hunter. Hustle Clean makes antibacterial and antimicrobial wipes that “clean, sanitize, deodorize and disinfect bodies and surfaces for athletes and anybody focused on staying healthy.”
Not only is Hustle Clean putting an emphasis on practicing proper hygiene, the company is doing all it can to make sure young athletes get the chance to play organized sports.
Hustle Clean has partnered up with Shock Doctor, the maker of the top sports mouthguard in the world, for the “Free Play @ Legends” initiative. This will allow 7v7 football teams that wouldn’t otherwise have the financial means to participate to compete at Legends Showcase.
We caught up with Justin Forsett to discuss Hustle Clean’s partnership with Shock Doctor, why investing in the youth is so important, his future goals and so much more.
The Spun: How did Hustle Clean come about, and why is it so important to you?
Justin Forsett: I started it while I was playing in the NFL. I was always sweating, always on the go. I couldn’t always practice necessary hygiene requirements when I needed to, so I wanted a solution for when I couldn’t shower. So I created a disposable washcloth that removes sweat, dirty and body odors for anyone who wants to clean up during the day. It was a business I created as a side hustle while I was playing in the NFL that turned into the main hustle once I retired.
— Hustle Clean (@HustleClean) July 2, 2020
The Spun: You’re partnering with Shock Doctor. Why was that a good fit for Hustle Clean?
JF: It came about through mutual connections we have in the industry. Once we got a chance to know them and learn their mission, we realized there’s alignment there. We know that we want to serve youth athletes, and we know what they do with Shock Doctor’s mouthguard and camps. Both of my business partners were athletes – we played college football together at Cal. When we started this company, we wanted to impact and invest in our younger selves. This is a way for us to do that by helping out communities that have been priced out of sports. The Legends Showcase gives athletes who might need this type of financial support a chance to shine. We’re truly excited to launch this partnership and help out kids who are in the shoes we were in not too long ago.
The Spun: At what point in your career did you start thinking about the next chapter of your career?
JF: I’ve been philanthropic throughout my whole journey because I came from humble beginnings. I was journeyman in the NFL for the most part before I landed in Baltimore, so I didn’t know what was going to be next. I knew that I wanted to have an impactful business that serves those who came from humble beginnings like myself, though. If sports were priced back then the way they are now, my family wouldn’t be able to afford to send me to play sports. That would’ve been tragic because I probably wouldn’t be here today without sports. So I’m trying to find ways to support people and make an impact.
The Spun: What do you think are the next steps to make sure we give young athletes who may not be able to afford that high price tag a chance to play sports?
JF: I think we need more people pouring back into the younger versions of themselves. Sports can do so much for young men and women’s minds. We want to make sure we invest in them. Our brand wants to make sure by 2040 that most kids in America can play sports for free. That’s on us to come together and make that a priority.
The Spun: What’s the next step for Hustle Clean as a brand?
JF: It’s not necessarily to go wider, it’s to go deeper. We have these relationships with great companies. Now, how can we make sure these kids have the right mentorship not just in sports but in school. Academics are so important, and we have to make sure they’re aware of stuff outside of sports. Eventually we’re going to transition outside of sports, whether it’s by choice or by force. We need to make sure we support these kids in a deeper way. Partnerships, like the one we have with Shock Doctor, allow us to make an impact. It’s not all about throwing money at a situation. You need to put in resources and make sure you have a relationship with the people you’re serving.
So fresh and so clean clean🐻
"Words can’t express how excited I am to partner with my alma mater to bring premium self-care
products into the locker rooms of Cal student-athletes,” @JForsett
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) October 27, 2021
The Spun: Have you been able to speak to young athletes about your NFL journey?
JF: For sure. I try to share my story and inspire this generation. I was an underdog for most of my career, but I still got to achieve my dreams.
The Spun: When you reflect on your career, what do you remember the most?
JF: I remember that time in Baltimore because it was the answer to a lot of prayers. But I just remember the journey – not necessarily the results, but the people I’ve met and the relationships I built. Just thinking about all those connections – I’ve been blessed.
The Spun: Are there certain running backs you like to watch right now?
JF: I love watching the game still. I like watching Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor. I definitely try to stay in touch with the NFL as much as possible.
Last year I told myself I would have a Super Bowl commercial. I didn’t have $5m for a SB ad but I still wanted to create a piece of content that inspired, motivated, & united us after experiencing a Pandemic. Help us spread the word & Join the Tribe! #SuperBowlCommercial #NFL pic.twitter.com/frNFbs8GI4
— Justin Forsett (@JForsett) February 5, 2021
The Spun: At what point in your career does it hit that you need to have a plan for life after football?
JF: For me, it happened very early. After being fired two times, I was like ‘OK, if this journey ends today, what’s next for me?’ I wanted to make sure I had a smooth transition to the next phase of my life.
The Spun: What would be your message to people as we enter 2022 regarding how we can impact today’s youth?
JF: You don’t need to be an athlete to have an impact on the youth – they’re watching our every move. Me being a father of five kids, I know that more is caught than taught. Just the way we carry ourselves with our actions is important. We need to make sure we put our best foot forward and find ways to build relationships with them. They’re just like us. When you’re spending time with them, you’re spending time with the younger version of yourself. They have the same dreams we had. At the heart and core of it, they’re still impressionable and still want to achieve their dreams. I think we need to make sure we spend as much time with them as we can.
🚨BIG NEWS🚨 We are partnering w/ @hustleclean to introduce Free Play @sdlegends7v7 🤑 We will donate $5K to 5 different teams, helping cover expenses for 1 team at each of the 5 events. We don't want money to stop teams getting to @sdlegends7v7
Apply here https://t.co/6IygBT3gYq pic.twitter.com/sCAljjQefO
— Legends Showcase (@sdlegends7v7) December 9, 2021
The “Free Play @ Legends” showcase will provide donations to five different teams at Legends Showcase, covering $5,000 in expenses for one team at each of the five events.
Events like this are life-changing opportunities that give young athletes the chance to showcase their talent. And like Forsett said earlier, “Investing in young athletes’ dreams is our most important return.”
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.