Leigh Steinberg is one of the most influential figures in sports, but after several devastating personal setbacks, he descended into alcohol abuse. Now five years sober, he brought his message of redemption to Yakima Thursday night.

If you were an athlete in the 1980s, you wanted Leigh Steinberg as your agent. Over his 40-year career, he represented the No.1 pick in the NFL draft a record eight times. He was known for getting his clients top dollar and good contracts, but was also known by pro sports owners as a tough but fair negotiator. He has secured more than $3 billion for his clients and directed more than $750 billion to charities around the world. He has also consulted on several feature films, and his life is believed to be the inspiration for the popular movie, "Jerry Maguire."

Steinberg was the featured speaker at Yakima's Merrill Scott Symposium banquet, sponsored by Sundown M Ranch. The symposium is a three-day event offering information and education on chemical dependency and other behavioral health topics.

In this interview, Steinberg talked about why he was speaking at the symposium banquet, and his own personal struggles with alcohol.