Glover Quin is coming off his best season in the NFL yet. The 29-year-old Detroit Lions free safety led the NFL with seven interceptions last season and was voted to his first Pro Bowl selection, in addition to earning second team All-Pro honors.
But as much as Quin is accomplishing on the field, he's building something just as special off of it with his own family. He and his wife just welcomed their third son into the world and with Father's Day just around the corner, Quin penned this piece on what the day means to him, teaching his boys what his dad taught him and the challenges of raising three African-American boys. Take it away, Glover...just like you did with all those interceptions last season.
As Father’s Day approaches, I always find myself reflecting back on the things that my father taught me, and evaluating whether I’m teaching my kids those same lessons. To me, Father’s Day is certainly a celebration of my father and me for my kids, but it’s also a time for self-evaluation. I watched my father closely growing up. I studied how he treated my mom and my sisters. He was selfless and spent all his energy on building a family bond and structure.
This year I am reflecting a bit more than usual as my wife and I just welcomed our third son into the world. This Father’s Day, I want to celebrate by sharing some things that my father taught me and that I intend to instill in my boys as they grow up to be men.
To my three boys:
When I was younger, my father would always tell me over and over to use my head as more than a hat rack. To this day, I always pride myself on being smart and intelligent — and I encourage my boys to be the same way.
Growing up in McComb, Mississippi, we didn’t have a lot. My father worked several different jobs to provide for our family. We had everything that we needed because he worked hard. His work ethic is something that has made me who I am and pushed me to be the best I can be as a father, husband and football player.
Regardless of your race, creed, ethnicity, nothing will ever be given to you in this life. I want my children to understand that the only way to succeed is to work harder and be smarter than the next man. We have to have a thick skin.
Growing up as African-American men will not be easy. You have to remember that some people will have zero tolerance for you. I hope that you will see yourselves as better because of who you are inside and the qualities that you bring to the table rather than the color of your skin — no matter how intolerant those you encounter may be.
I expect that you will make mistakes in your lives. Everyone makes mistakes. My father told me the same thing that I will tell you — certain mistakes you simply can’t make because the consequences are too high and if you make a mistake more than once, you’re making an effort to do it and you have yet to learn.
My job as a father is to prepare you for your life outside of our house. Rules in the house are like laws — they should be followed and I expect that they will be. Understand that I don’t enjoy having to issue discipline, but if I am not consistent when rules are broken, then I am not preparing you to go out into the world.
Always remember to treat your mother with great respect. Love your mother and help her. The way you treat your mother is how you should treat all women throughout your life. Women are precious and should be treated as such. If you aren’t touching them in a loving way with their approval, keep your hands off them.
As I did with my father, I expect you to watch me, learn from me and try to emulate me. I’m not perfect, but I do the best I can each and every day. You will never see me hit your mother or any other woman. My job is to lead you and be the example that you should follow — not someone that just tells you about how to act, but someone who shows you.
My proudest moment was becoming your father. When I go to your school and hear how well you behave in class, how respectful you are, how things we emphasize at home are sticking and you are doing them…to hold each of you in my arms for the first time.
I am your father and I will do anything that I can for you. It is my job to raise you, not society’s. I love you.
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(Photo: Glover Quin)