Charlie Mayfield running for a Touchdown, early 70's
We started this in Mercer County Schools a couple weeks ago and are off to a really good start.
Goal: To help form & promote positive attitudes about ethnicity for our youngest students in Mercer County Schools.
Action: Every Thursday morning, 2 or 3 football players (and include possible expansion to other student-athletes and potentially all students) will eat breakfast with students at MCES. The high school students that attend the breakfast will be of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The topic of conversation does NOT need to be about ethnicity or “race.” What we want is very simple… friendly conversation and acts of kindness between the elementary students and the football players.
Rationale: We want to promote positive interactions and attitudes for our youngest students, before their heads are filled with stereotypes and negative messages regarding people of other ethnicities. The basis of this goes back to my experiences with my Dad’s players when I was 4, 5, 6 & 7 years old. Before my brain was tarnished by prejudice & false information, guys like Charlie Mayfield, Henry Ewing, James Tarrance & James Scruggs taught me the truth through their kindness, friendship and positive words to me at a very young age. If we ever discussed racism or ethnicity, I don’t remember that. But, what I DO remember is how they treated me and that is what has made all the difference!
For me, one of the biggest highlights was the reaction of our players. One afternoon I explained to some of our older guys what we wanted to do and why.They immediately began to speak up and volunteer. I am exceptionally proud of their leadership and their willingness to help and serve others.
We have much work to do at Mercer County, on and off the field. But, we are working at it and I am blessed to be coaching wonderful young men who want to serve others and make our community better now and in the future!