December 9, 2010, - 2:26 pm
It’s not “The Gift of the Magi.” But still a pretty touching story about sacrificing what you really treasure to save those you really love.
Would you give up a possible dream job in the NFL to care for your parents? Keith Fitzhugh did that, saying no to the New York Jets. It’s not like he was certain to get a multi-million dollar–or even multi-hundred-thousand dollar–contract. And that’s part of the reason he said no. Fitzhugh’s father is completely disabled and unable to work or leave the house. His mother lost her job and remains unemployed. They depend on their son and his income to survive, and he currently has a steady, reliable job as a train conductor with Norfolk Southern Railroad.
Fitzhugh was on the practice squad and was cut. The New York Jets, this week, asked him back, and he turned them down because his chances to make the Jets were uncertain. Though players are often signed to the team from the practice squad, it’s no certainty. And even if he made the team, there are never guarantees for next year. It’s a big risk compared to a steady, assured income stream from the railroad job.
I give kudos to Fitzhugh for caring about his parents enough to put them above himself and risky ambitions. Most people–Black or White–would not, especially most post-collegiate football players, who’ve been pampered, spoiled, and selfish most of their lives and dream solely of playing on the NFL field and making an NFL salary. Keith Fitzhhugh is a man of character and a great role model for America’s kids.
He did the right thing, and made a tough decision most in his place would not make. When I represented pro athletes as a sports agent, I met many recent college grads in Fitzhugh’s position. They were all selfish. And not one would make the decision–the correct decision–he made.
They’d all go with the NFL invite. And probably all be out on the streets with their parents in the end.
This is the kind of guy we should be promoting to America’s youth, especially in the inner city. He’s head and shoulders above anyone playing on NFL Sunday.
Tags: football, Keith Fitzhugh, New York Jets, NFL, Norfolk Southern Railroad, NY Jets, NYJets, Pro Football, said no to New York Jets, train conductor, turned down NY Jets