Former 49ers linebacker champions missile defense

July 5, 2018

Stars and Stripes:

Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Riki Ellison is still a defensive force three decades after winning his third Super Bowl ring.

Ellison, 57 — who won a national championship with the University of Southern California before being drafted by the 49ers in 1982 — decided to tackle a new challenge after his playing career ended. In 2002, he founded the nonprofit Missile Advocacy Alliance, or MDAA, to lobby for missile-defense deployment and development.

The New Zealand Maori son of a United Nations economic adviser, Ellison studied international relations at USC and was fascinated by President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars missile defense effort, which might have been what led him into his present job.

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International Cooperation