You hear the following excuse from black men a lot:
“My father wasn’t around and that is why I blah, blah, blah….”
It has become a convenient excuse for bad behavior. I can tell you from experience that even if your father is not around 24/7, you still have a choice.
There is a time in every man’s life where he makes a decision about the path he is going to take, regardless of his circumstances, and in your heart you know the difference between right and wrong.
You might not know Bills LB Nic Harris. He was a 5th round draft pick who fought his way on the team with his special teams play and eventually got a couple of starts strictly based off his hard work.
The reason you should know him is because he is a perfect example of a person not letting his circumstances dictate his future.
When Harris was very young both of his parents abandoned him. He bounced around from family member to family member throughout his teenage years. He got himself declared legally independent at the age of 15. Think about that for a minute; he had to become an adult at 15, but he didn’t complain or make excuses — he excelled in school and earned himself a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma. Harris could have taken the easy way out, but he decided he wanted to have a better future for himself.
Harris was all set to marry his girlfriend and the mother of his daughter after he was drafted when she told him she could not handle the pressures of moving to a different city and him being in the NFL.
Once again, Harris (whose chances of making the team were 50/50 at best) didn’t hesitate, he took responsibility and is fighting for custody of his 14-month-old daughter.
Did I mention Harris is just 23 years old?
I asked him to speak a little bit on how he wants to break down the stereotypes of young black men being parents and how his foundation Team Nic will help with that:
“TeamNic will be the vehicle for various projects that will involve positive growth for young men and single fathers and it will break stereotypes of what society expects young urban men to be.
TeamNic will embrace young men too with growing pains with spirituality, health awareness and education.”
Nic held his 1st annual Premier Football and Etiquette Camp in Alexandria, Louisiana (his hometown), once again stressing being the best person you can off the field before excelling on it. Here are some details from that camp:
Nic Harris will be having a football and etiquette camp for the young men in the Alexandria, Louisiana area and will be having Rev. Byron Coleman speak to the young men on proper etiquette while motivating young men to remain positive, overcome stereotypes, and focus on their academic goals while promoting fitness.
I don’t normally root for players, but I am now a fan of Nic Harris and hope he has a long and outstanding NFL career. Many athletes could learn from his example.