Charles Haley is finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame. This should have happened years later, but Haley isn’t bitter, instead he is taking the spotlight to speak on mental illness (he was diagnosed as bi-polar) and helping young players stay out of trouble.
He spoke to Mercury News about some of the things he tells rookies, it is pretty eye opening.
In recent years, he’s taken a proactive approach with the 49ers and Cowboys in mentoring younger players. He brought that proactive approach to the 49ers as recently as May, when he spoke to the rookie class about his successes and troubles.
Said Haley: “As far as the rookies, and I know they probably got mad, but I said, ‘Why don’t you all act like the white guys? You never see them in the paper getting high or hitting people. Why don’t you act like that?’ They all looked at me crazy.”
“I just did it for the shock value of it,” Haley added of May speech to the rookies. “.. The hardest thing is these guys, they have an attention span of a 5-year-old. I’m not the most gentle and kind person to sit there and deal with that crap. I’m a little more confrontational. I think I got my point across.”
That is one way to get their attention.