Max Siegel II: A voice on and off the field
Sam Ouhaj | Friday, November 19, 2021
Max Siegel II has never settled in life and has always strived to achieve more. With his Notre Dame football career coming to an end, the former offensive line walk-on took time to look back on what he has accomplished with the platform given to him by being a part of the Fighting Irish.
Born in Fishers, IN, Siegel has always been tied to Notre Dame. His father, Max Siegel, attended the University, and Notre Dame had always been on his mind. Siegel was originally committed to UPenn but had the opportunity to walk-on at Notre Dame. After a few discussions with coaches, and a visit to Notre Dame, he knew this was where he wanted to be.
When asked about what made him change his mind, he said when his parents asked the simple question of “At the end of the day are you going to look back at what you could have done or be happy with what you did?”
Siegel is a double major in psychology and Global Affairs, with a concentration in global policy studies. The former Zahm resident now lives off-campus, but is still an active voice in the sports and human rights communities on campus. As someone who is not afraid to speak out about controversial issues, he focused on these two areas of study to gain more knowledge and insight as to what he can do to fight for change.
As an activist for racial equality and student well-being, Siegel has joined a plethora of extracurricular activities off the field that have helped him become one of the most influential players on the team.
When asked about what he does off the field, Siegel mentioned that he is the director of athletics for student government. As the director, Siegel helps to make sure that student-athletes are being represented fairly and, as quoted from the student government website, “shall aid and advise the Student Body President and Student Body Vice-President in all matters pertaining to athletics.”
Siegel is also responsible for being the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) president. As President, Siegel is tasked with making sure that student-athletes’ voices are being heard by everyone and “creating a fulfilling Irish student-athlete experience by engaging and developing the mind, body, and spirit of every student-athlete.”
While Siegel does whatever it takes to make sure student-athletes are heard, he has also become an advocate for Black rights. Last year, when George Floyd was murdered, Siegel was interviewed about his thoughts on the situation. In this interview with Notre Dame Athletics, he stated, “Don’t let your voice be snuffed out. Continue to speak on this issue. Continue to fight so that George Floyd’s death will not be in vain. Let’s all move forward and become agents of change within our own communities and this country at large.”
Siegel is involved with the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, a historically black fraternity, where he serves as the polemarch (president). He also volunteers in a memory care unit and revamped a mentorship program with 100 Black men of greater South Bend.
When asked about his experience these last four years, he said, “My experience here has definitely been tough. Balancing football, school, social life and extracurriculars like student government isn’t an easy task. I went through many different events and situations that tested my values and who I am as a person. Instead of succumbing to the pressure, I found myself being molded into the man I wanted to be. My experiences forced me to grow up. Football also caused me to grow up. Fast. It helped me realize that nothing will be handed to me. The growth I want to see in my own life has to be attained through my own means. Even though I went through some difficult times, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world. The friends that I made in Zahm are some of the best guys I know. It feels great knowing that the house has my back. The same goes for football too.”
When reminiscing on his time on the team he said: “Some of my favorite memories from being on the team included Clemson week and how much we prepared for it, to hanging out with the offensive line room during the Spring on Fridays enjoying the weather and bonding.”
When asked about his plans moving forward, Siegel stated he is applying to law school and eventually hopes to be in either the sports and media field or working for international rights.
While Siegel’s time is coming to an end at Notre Dame, he knows his mission of helping others is not even close to being completed, and he hopes that he can continue to inspire change in every community that has impacted him.
“As I enter the final stretch of my college career, I’ve started to think about how I can give back to the communities that helped me grow, supported me, and have treated me with respect,” he said. “I’m not naive though. I realize that what I’ve set out to accomplish won’t happen during my time here. However, I can get the ball rolling to help Notre Dame become an inclusive and more welcoming place for everyone.”