Darent Williams, Sean Taylor, Richard Collier, Plaxico Burress. Lives and careers all affected by guns.
Is the NFL doing enough to educate its players about life off the field?
I've said for years that the NFL doesn't do enough to teach its players how to be men. These players are recruited out of high school by the big colleges, given back-alley gifts and money, and in many cases have very low academic expectations to meet, if any at all.
They are drafted into the NFL, and are given buckets of money before they even play a down at the professional level. Were you mentally able to handle all that wealth and fame at the age of 21 or in some cases, earlier? I certainly wasn't. When I was 21 I was married, had a kid on the way, was bouncing from one $7 an hour job to another, and had no clue what I was doing. I can't imagine how a 21-year-old handles a $5 or $10-million dollar signing bonus, and all that pressure from being pulled in 10 different directions.
So I think the NFL has to take a hit here. The "rookie symposiums" are not enough. These players need constant education on life when the spotlight isn't on. I'm not just talking about firearms and violent situations; I'm also talking about handling their money, family life, drugs, and the people they surround themselves with.
While I applaud the NFL for its reactions in these cases, I think the league needs to strengthen up the "front-end" work with these players.
I found this article on Associated Content related to the subject:
I also found this article. I found it interesting because it talks about how 5 years ago guns were quite prevalent in the league.
So what do you guys think? Is the NFL doing enough?