GREEN BAY, Wis. – Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is one of the great success stories in Green Bay Packers history. A fifth-round pick in 2000, he became one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. The man who became known as “KGB” had four consecutive seasons of 10-plus sacks, including a breakout 13.5 sacks in 2001. He set the franchise career record for sacks and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.
CHAPTER 2: The Pastor, the ‘Cult’ and Its Troubled Past
Off the field, however, the story takes a sharp turn. In a three-part series, Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler delves into the former Packers star’s theological evolution, his discovery of a new religious movement, his transformation from revered to feared and why he feels he – and his ministry – are misunderstood.
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Chapter 3, “The Followers, the Courtroom Drama and the Next Chapter,” looks at KGB’s role as a recruiter and spokesman for Straitway, and how he influenced two other ex-NFL players, one of them a future Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate, to join the ministry that some consider a cult. It also examines his harsh words for his ex-wife and children and his increasingly bizarre interactions with the court system, which culminated in him being tasered in court during a hearing in March.
“I just want to let you guys know I am pretty beat up but I am alive and well, thank Yah,” he said in a YouTube video just hours later. “The persecution is real. There is nothing that I have gone through that Jesus didn’t go through. Jesus died, he died, because he was about the Father’s business. I am being afflicted and persecuted because I am about the Father’s business.”
KGB says he’d like to have 94 children – he wore jersey No. 94 – a goal that obviously will require more than one woman. He had eight kids with his ex-wife and one with his new wife.
“I am like a farmer,” he says. “You plant seeds, the storm comes in, it takes [those seeds] out. Guess what? You replant. I am going to replant. I am going to rebuild my house and I got me a woman and we are going to keep on moving. ... I have everything I need to create life again.
“I hope to have so many babies the ones I lost will be a forgotten story. Job lost all his babies too, and God blessed him with more.”
Those who know him from his playing days aren’t ready to give up on him.
“He always brought light into the locker room and not darkness, [but] when you see him now it seems like there is more darkness than there is light,” says former Packers coach Mike Sherman, who says he spoke for this story in the hopes of getting through to KGB.