New England Black Wolves’ Bill O’Brien is a star both on the field and off

(WTNH)–Bill O’Brien is more than an intimidating presence on the turf.

His aggressive style of play gets people’s attention. He’s 6-4, 235 pounds and not an ounce of fat, but the real story hangs from his head.

“The braid is believed to almost be a manifestation of your thoughts so everything you’ve ever done in life is captured through your hair. We can go as far back as 12 years old and this hair was with me,” O’Brien said.

Many tales are twisted up in that braid. Each strand seems to have a story, like the time he climbed Mount Kiliminjaro, or the years he spent playing college football at Sacred Heart in Fairfield.

O’Brien says he wasn’t raised a traditional native American, but he has really embraced it. From the Onondaga Nation outside of Syracuse, he’s a cousin of the Thompson Brothers– some of the worlds best lacrosse players.

Together, they are using their platform to make a difference.

Along with family members and friends, O’Brien participated in protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, which threatens the sacred land, water and environment of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota.

Check out the video above for much more. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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