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From Football Player To Surgeon – How Myron Rolle Is Breaking The Jock Stereotype

Petra Lomax

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We first caught wind of the Myron Rolle story yesterday and knew we had to share it. This young man left high school as the number 1 football prospect in the entire U.S. and as you can imagine NFL scouts kept a close eye on him.

He was rated by ESPN as the number one football recruit in the United States in 2006 which naturally landed him in the NFL but the story doesn’t  end there. Rolle cut his career short to attend medical school at just 25, read his story below:

Myron Rolle

 

Via The Doctors

“I played football, but I didn’t want to be categorized as just a jock.” Those are the words of Myron Rolle.

During his time in the NFL, he wasn’t your usual player. He researched stem cells. He started anti-obesity programs that the U.S. Department of Interior adopted. He even raised money for hospitals.

But just before his NFL dreams came true by enlisting in the draft, as scouts were eager to snatch him up, Rolle decided to delay his entering the NFL draft for a whole year to study medicine in Oxford, England. During that time, he was named a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship, the most prestigious academic award given.

When he made it back to the States, the Tennessee Titans took on Rolle, selecting him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. The progress he made in his first year with Tennessee — “I thought I was making strides and getting better with each snap, picking up things I didn’t pick up before,” he said — took a hit with the departure of head coach Jeff Fisher and the 2011 lockout putting a halt to OTAs.

Rolle was released right before the start of the 2011 season. The Steelers signed him to a reserve/future contract the next off-season, only to release Rolle at the tail end of the 2012 preseason.

Afterward, it took Rolle three weeks of soul searching to realize that it was for the best that his football-playing career was done at age 25.

“I talked to my family, brothers and pastors asking them what they thought,” he said. “I still received interest from a few teams, and it didn’t have to be over. Then I said to myself, ‘I can knock my head against the wall for 8-9 years or move on to medicine.’ I was leaving the game with no concussions and dexterity in both my hands, where I could be a neurosurgeon one day.”

“The NFL experience was amazing. I had a chance to play alongside some of the best athletes in the world. Only two other people can say that they were a Rhodes Scholar and an NFL player (Pat Haden and Byron White). I look back and say, ‘I got to the league, I got drafted.’”

So now, after much study and hard work, the 30-year-old Rolle will be graduating this Spring 2017 with his doctorate from Florida State University College of Medicine!

But that’s not all, Rolle is also the chairman of the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, which serves people who do not have access to health, wellness and education in the U.S. and around the world.

The Foundation also hosts the Myron Rolle Wellness and Leadership Academy for Florida foster children, “Rhodes to Success” (an academic workshop for at-risk teenagers) and “Our Way to Health” (an anti-obesity program for American Indians of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo tribes).

“It’s always, ‘What’s next?,’” explains Myron. “I think people align themselves with my way of thinking when they’re talking to me. They try to create new avenues for me to pursue, so if you want to be a doctor and you have interest in human rights and philanthropy and social equality of medicine and disease, why don’t you think about being surgeon general? Then you could have a political impact, with a stronger influence and a bigger platform. I’m that person. ‘What’s next? What’s next?’”

Whatever it is we wish Rolle the best of luck even though we do not think he will need it.

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Sports

Congratulations! Jason Wright Named Washington Football Team President

Petra Lomax

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Jason Wright

Jason Wright has just been named Washington Football team President and he is the first black team President in NFL history and one of the youngest. Washington Football team was formally called the Washington Redskins and this move is just part of their overall transition into a new team.

According to the New York Post:

Wright replaces Bruce Allen, who was fired after the 2019 season.

“This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me,” Wright said in a statement. “The transformation of the Washington Football Team is happening across all aspects of the organization — from football to operations to branding to culture — and will make us a truly modern and aspirational franchise. We want to set new standards for the NFL.”

The 38-year-old Wright played seven seasons in the NFL as an undrafted running back for the 49ers, Falcons, Browns, and Cardinals. He retired after the 2011 season and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago.

He was most recently a partner in the operations practice at McKinsey & Company, where he also helped create the Black Economic Institute and co-piloted their anti-racism and inclusion strategy.

Wright will be responsible for leading Washington’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing. It comes at a pivotal time, as the franchise has done away with its old team name and is trying to recover from a Washington Post report that accused the team of sexual harassment and creating a toxic culture.

“If I could custom design a leader for this important time in our history, it would be Jason. His experience as a former player, coupled with his business acumen, gives him a perspective that is unrivaled in the league,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “We will not rest until we are a championship-caliber team, on and off the field.”

While most on Twitter are applauding the move, some question the intentions of the NFL alluding it to be just a political move on their part. However, Jason Wright is very qualified to hold the position political or not.

 

This Twitter user posted his accolades in his defense:

Jason spoke to Michael Strahan about his new role, watch below:

Congratulations! We look forward to seeing what Jason does with the team.

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Mikey Williams Considering An HBCU Could Really Shake Things Up In College Basketball

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Mikey Williams

The money goes where the players are so it isn’t a stretch that when the nation’s best 15-year-old basketball player Mikey Williams tweeted that going to an HBCU wouldn’t be too bad, he sent twitter into a frenzy.

In a recent post, Yahoo Sports described the history HBCUs which gives great context around why this move by Mikey Williams would be historic. Read an excerpt below:

Before the desegregation of college sports in the South, it once was common for top black athletes to attend predominantly black colleges. HBCUs produced many of the nation’s best-known athletes, from Tennessee State’s Wilma Rudolph, to Florida A&M’s Bob Hayes, to Grambling State’s Willis Reed, to Winston-Salem State’s Earl “the Pearl” Monroe.

By the end of the civil rights movement, even the most stubborn Deep South coaches knew they needed to integrate to remain competitive.

Majority-white institutions began siphoning away much of the South’s top black talent, positioning those schools to cash in when college sports evolved into a big-dollar business and pushing HBCUs further and further behind.

Mikey williams

Consider Grambling State, home of maybe the most storied HBCU football program. In 2013 players staged a boycott and forfeited a game in protest of the school’s crumbling facilities, long bus trips to road games and frequent coaching changes.

Or take Mississippi Valley State, which often can’t afford to play a single non-league basketball game at home. To aid their cash-strapped athletic department, the Delta Devils crisscross the country playing nothing but road games and collecting tens of thousands of dollars in appearance fees from each opponent.

The disparity in resources is only part of the reason why most blue-chip recruits don’t consider picking North Carolina A&T over North Carolina or Florida A&M over Florida. Power-conference programs can typically also offer bigger crowds, stronger competition, more proven coaching and a better chance to win.

Whereas HBCU coaches once resisted wasting time and money recruiting against high-major programs with deeper pockets, that has recently begun to change. HBCU coaches recognize an opportunity with the Black Lives Matter movement inspiring black teens to show more pride in their culture and strengthen their communities.

Last October, two of the nation’s top high school players took official visits to Howard University on back-to-back weekends. The visits were a jolt of positive publicity for Howard even though Makur Maker has moved on to other schools and Josh Christopher has chosen Arizona State.

Mikey Williams

“Howard was seriously considered,” said Laron Christopher, Josh’s father. “The courage it took Josh to take the visit was powerful to me because it said that he was different. He was standing for something bigger than basketball.”

Because their recruiting budgets are so meager, HBCU coaches try to be selective about which Rivals 150 prospects they pursue.

The primary factor is whether a coach already has a strong relationship with someone close to the player. Coaches may also look for elite prospects who have a parent who attended an HBCU or who appear unusually comfortable taking a different path than their peers.

There are two schools of thought for how an HBCU can win a recruiting battle against prestigious power-conference programs.

The first is exemplified by a tweet sent earlier this week by Mo Williams, a 14-year NBA veteran and newly hired Alabama State coach. He portrayed choosing an HBCU over a predominantly white institution as a way of strengthening the black community and protesting racial inequality.

Recently Mo Williams Tweeted an idea for a silent protest which asked parents to pull kids out of D1 Schools and enroll them in HBCUs.

Mikey Williams made the point to say that named brand college programs are not the only stepping stones to the NBA. “If you’re a pro, [then] you’re a pro no matter what college you go to,” Williams wrote Wednesday in an Instagram post elaborating on his interest in HBCUs.

What makes going to an HBCU appealing to Williams is that the revenue he generates during his college career would stay within the black community. He says multiple HBCUs will make the cut next time he narrows the list of colleges he is considering.

“And,” he adds, “they won’t just be there for show.”

“I AM RIDING FOR MY PEOPLE!” Williams wrote. “I’M 10 TOES BEHIND THE BLACK COMMUNITY! Any way I can help or make a change in the black community, best believe I am going to do that.”

Interest from the nation’s top-ranked rising sophomore came as a welcome surprise to HBCU coaches across the country. Within minutes, coaches who previously viewed Williams as unattainable suddenly began bombarding his AAU coach with calls and texts.

Tennessee State offered Williams a scholarship on Tuesday without seeing him play in person. Norfolk State and Texas Southern did the same. By Wednesday afternoon, the dynamic 6-foot-2 guard had piled up offers from about a dozen HBCU programs.

 

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“I don’t think any schools thought seriously about offering him until he posted that tweet,” Etop Udo-Uma, the coach of the talent-rich Compton Magic AAU team, told Yahoo Sports. “Within two hours he had more HBCU offers than any kid I’ve ever coached.”

While a talent like Mikey Williams would instantly elevate whatever college he chooses, some HBCU coaches insist they would be happy if he picks any of their schools. They’re hoping to find a trailblazer whose bold choice to come to an HBCU could inspire other elite prospects to buck conventional wisdom and do the same.

For decades, predominantly white institutions have raked in revenue in part because of the achievements of black athletes. Someone like Williams could demonstrate that black athletes can generate money and exposure for HBCUs without sacrificing their pursuit of a pro career to do it.

On Wednesday Williams wrote:

“Why does it always have to be the big names?” Williams wrote Wednesday on Instagram. “Have you ever thought about helping your own people out?? WE ARE THE REASON THAT THESE SCHOOLS HAVE SUCH BIG NAMES AND SUCH GOOD HISTORY..But in the end what do we get out of it??”

As the offers roll in Mikey will have a decision to make either way we are proud of him!

Read our last post here and read more via Yahoo! Sports.

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Did You Know Michael Jordan Used To Smoke A Cigar Before Every Home Game?

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Michael Jordan

Most people know that Michael Jordan rarely gives interviews and according to GQ he stopped talking to the press around 1994 and a few misses during interviews or inflammatory sports stories. He did, however, give an interview to Cigar Aficionado where he spoke about his six-smokes-a-day habit.

Marvin Shanken the editor in chief of CF recently described to GQ how he got that interview back in 2005.

Read below:
I had indirect access to him through a friend, who plays golf with him. He helped arrange it. Obviously, Michael loves cigars, and knew of me, and read the magazine, and so forth. He was in Chicago. I flew out one day and we played golf.

How was that?

The rumor is that he likes to play for a lot of money. He wants to play for more money than you can afford to lose. He thinks he has an edge that way. So he started off—I don’t remember the number, but he wanted to play for so much a hole that I said, “You’re out of your mind! I’m not gonna play for that.” So we chiseled it down to an amount that he agreed but was more than I wanted to gamble. It was me and my friend versus Michael and my executive editor at the time, Gordon Mott. Coming down to the 18th hole, I think we were down $400. It was a push—we didn’t lose any money. But that showed me the competitiveness that he had. I play with him occasionally in Florida, and he’s a very laid-back, fun guy to be with and to play with. He doesn’t know who he is when he’s on the course having a good time.

There’s no fans, there’s no cameras—it’s a relatively private moment. Yeah. And he loves his golf, and he loves his cigars. I love golf, I love cigars. It worked fine.

The NBA legend smoked a cigar before every home game, puffing away to deal with the Chicago traffic. “I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game,” he said in an exclusive 2005 interview with Cigar Aficionado editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken, his first with the magazine.

“I started out with the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona. … I never rushed. … It became such a relaxing thing to do. Not many people know about it. When they read this, they’ll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar. I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It’s the most relaxing thing,” added Jordan.

Read the entire interview here. Also do not forget to read our latest post here.

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