I play in a sport where we try to get kids to want to be like us. But I’ve seen some of us. And I’m not proud of some of us, at all. Please, kids, do not be like some of us.
There are others, of course, where you want to say to the kids, “If you want to be like a pro athlete, be like him.”
It’s really tough. Do I want a kid to be like me? In some ways, yes! But in other ways, you know, no! I’d rather a kid learn differently than the way I did. I mean, I’ve learned! But sometimes I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve done things I’m really not proud of. In Kansas City, I attacked my bench coach, and it was on television. In some ways, I’d say to a kid, “Don’t be like me. Not like that.”
But it would be really fulfilling to think that kids would want to be like me because of the love angle. I would love for more pro athletes to embrace the love angle, the humanitarian angle, the justice angle.
We have an ability to make a lot of money, just because people want to be entertained. And because of that, we can do a lot of good. Here’s an idea: what if more ballplayers got involved in humanitarian issues?
We’ve got so many fans that yell at us all the time, “You know I pay your salary!” And I say, “You know what? You do. You do pay my salary. I respect that.” But what if fans didn’t get angry? If more ballplayers were involved in doing humanitarian work, maybe the fans would say, “We love to pay $17.00, because we know our money is going further than your bank account. We know that what you’re doing outside of yourself is pure and loving. Our $17.00 doesn’t go that far, but our $17.00 joined with everyone else’s $17.00 is doing something really good. We’re proud to pay your salary.”
How much more fulfilling would it be if we could promise the fans that when they buy a ticket to a game, their money is going further than players’ salaries? I don’t know if it could ever be achieved, but it’s an exciting concept.