Ray Lewis warned us that without football crime rates would skyrocket. Historical data disagree, but it's hard to ignore this, this and, of course, this.
But Raheem Brock, Javarris James and Kenny Britt are the exceptions. Dwyane Wade spoke last week about being a single dad. And over Father's Day Weekend, Bears wide receiver Devin Hester appeared at DadFest, the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, for their annual celebration of dads.
Hester took used the opportunity to discuss the importance of fatherhood. Details via DailyHerald.com's Steve Zalusky.
"(DadFest) is to celebrate fathers, to give them a chance to connect with their family and give them something fun to do," said Susan DeLay, spokeswoman for the church.
Hester scored huge points with his audience. He said faith has played a huge role in his life, and faith and family go hand in hand for him. In a recent Chicago Parent magazine article, accompanied by photographs showing his son holding a football, Hester talked about being a good dad to his 1-year-old son, "little Devin," also known as "D.J."
Hester also talked about spending time with your kids. "Time is more important than the having the best toy at Toys R Us or a new bicycle," Hester said. "My brother and I were the only two kids with a father that stayed with their mama."
As for his son, DJ, Hester wants him to tell his friends that "he has the best dad ever. Not the superstar on the football field, but off the field I have the best dad in the whole wide world."
It's an multifaceted lesson. In addition to being there for your kids, it also means that we'll one day live in a world where Ray Lewis doesn't have to warn us of the potential evils of an NFL work stoppage. All because fathers decided to take part in their children's lives.
After Hester's NFL days are behind him he'll devote even more time to keeping dad's involved. "I don’t know how much to stress how important it is to be in your kid’s life," he said. "Time is the most important thing you can give a kid. I just get a kick out of coming home and seeing how excited my kid is to see me walk in the door."