by Karl Nelson II, Intern Media
The 2017 Sports Emmy Awards, which was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City Tuesday night, featured some of the best talent in sports television today, including ESPN, NBC, FOX, and Turner Sports.
The red carpet was star studded, to say the least. Ex-Yankee Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall, HBO’s Andrea Kremer, and figure skater Tara Lipinski were just some of those who made an appearance on the red carpet that night.
At the ceremony, I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the biggest names in sports and media, including former New England Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Willie McGinest, five-time MLB All-Star Frank Thomas, and civil rights activist Dr. Harry Edwards, who’s worked as a staff consultant for the San Francisco 49ers and Golden State Warriors.
Checkout snippets from our interviews below.
Dr. Harry Edwards
Q. What are your thoughts on the state of the NFL and NBA when it comes to the diversity in management?
A. Well, I think this is always an evolving situation and one of the things that we’ve learned dating back to Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and much less Jackie Robinson, is that there are no final victories.
It’s always an issue of adjusting to the latest set of circumstances and reactions to those circumstances.
I think both leagues are going to have to get smarter. They’re going to have to learn to manage and deal with the impact of social media, which is the greatest driving force in social change in history. And unless we do that, it’s going to turn into chaos.
Both leagues are poised to get out in front of this thing. Whether or not they’ll actually have the intellectual dexterity and the mental facility to get out and do it the way it’s supposed to be done in this age of instant communication to millions of people simultaneously is another question.
Q. What’s your million-dollar advice for athletes coming out of college getting ready to embark on their NFL journey’s?
A. Be professional. Take pride in your work. It’s a huge business and it will go on with or without you. So, make your decisions and understand that you’re in a unique position.
There are certain things you need to do while you’re in position. You need to go out and be the best football player you can be for the organization. Also, you have to understand that there are a lot of kids and young people that look up to you and admire what you’re doing.
You’re under a microscope, so everything that you do is going to be watched, scrutinized and criticized. So, be professional, make good decisions and work harder than anybody around you.
Q. How soon do they need to start thinking about what their lives are going to be like after the NFL?
A. Soon because it’s not promised. You’re one injury away and the average career for an NFL player is 3 and a half years. So, things come and go pretty quickly and if you’re not consistently taking care of yourself or playing at a certain level, that can be it for you.
Guys go through things. It happens. Guys retire after a couple of years. So, you have a choice everyday to make sure you’re doing something positive that’s giving you the power to keep you going. So, if it doesn’t work out, you have another plan in place.
Q. What can we do to make sure that more young kids of color grow up playing the game of baseball? How do we make sure the diversity in the sport continues to improve?
A. I really think that we should get our kids to go to more camps because the camps right now are craving for kids 7-12. We have to get our kids involved early because if they start at 13 or 14, it’s not going to happen.
You have to learn to love baseball early in life.