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Do Right Dads

A Professional Athlete’s Perspective on Fatherhood

As an NFL player and wide receiver for the New York Jets, I’ve been blessed to witness a lot of great guys in the league. Unfortunately, as athletes, we can sometimes get a bad wrap. The mainstream media tends to focus on those athletes who get into legal trouble or are riddled with drama. While I do admit that these things do happen, I also wanted to shed some light on a few good men in the spotlight that I think epitomize what good fathers and male role models should be.


The other night, I was watching VH1’s Hip Hop Honor’s with my wife. As we watched the performances, Master P stood out to me. We have very similar backgrounds—we both grew up as underprivileged kids in urban areas; and, given our circumstances, our success was unlikely. However, we were both fortunate to be able to use our gifts and talents to pursue our dreams and turn them into reality. I admire Master P’s work ethic and the legacy he’s left behind for his children. 


Though I don’t know him personally, he seems to have laid the groundwork for instilling success for generations to come.  

Another great role model and father that appeals to me is Steve Harvey. Steve seems to have taken on the challenge of mentoring young boys and men and extending the notion of fatherhood from a communal standpoint. The old proverb says “it takes a village,” and Steve’s work in the community reminds me that we can all be “fathers” by being a positive role model to any youngster.


And lastly, the man I think best reflects manhood and fatherhood as whole is Barack Obama. We can all learn from Barack’s commitment to his family, which I strongly believe is the foundation for his success. He realized the value of taking a wife at a young age and what that level of commitment and stability would do for his career. His love for his two daughters Sasha and Malia is evident, and he has set the bar and created a standard for the future men in their lives.

As Father’s Day approaches, it’s important that we take the time to appreciate the men in our communities who are creating a legacy and positively influencing the lives of our youth. We spend so much time on the negative portrayal of absentee fathers, but I see great examples of fatherhood on a daily basis. Most of all, I’m grateful to be blessed with a wonderful wife and daughter who push me to be the best man and father I can be.

I’m wishing all the ‘Do Right Dads’ out there a very Happy Father’s Day.

-Jerricho Cotchery|Follow me@JerrichoCotchery

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