New York Giants: David Wilson’s life lesson

Good luck David Wilson.

Also on Empire Writes Back: Who was the best Giant of 2014?

What happened to the “feel good “human-interest stories” in today’s sports world?

As a parent, my answer is they have all but disappeared.

Headline news too often centers around what a player has done wrong than on why they should be role models for kids. Arrests of NFL players like Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice to all of the steroid users in professional sports leaves many of us admiring players solely based on their talent, despite what type of character he or she may have.

There is a void of players like Cal Ripken Jr. who were true role models of how to be good athletes and people.

Former New York Giants’ running back David Wilson is one of these players who fill this void.

Wilson was the Giants’ first-round draft choice in 2012. Scouts described him as an explosive and versatile player with blazing speed. There were high hopes that he could be a major contributor to the Giants’ offense for years to come.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a few highlight plays his rookie year, he never lived up to these expectations. A severe neck injury in his second season placed his career in jeopardy. Then a re-injury of his neck the following August sealed his fate. It was too risky for him to continue to play professional football.

What happens to many of these players afterwards is a mere afterthought.

Not so with Wilson.

After retiring from the NFL, Wilson is training to be a member of the U.S. track and field team for the 2016 summer Olympics.

What I find so admirable about this effort is the numerous life lessons this can teach fans both young and old.

The lesson is that when faced with adversity not to give up. Have many dreams. Wilson has described being an Olympian as another one of his dreams. Use the talents you’re given in whatever way is possible to achieve these goals in life.

As a parent and a fan, I want to wish Wilson the best of luck in his Olympic journey. Also, I want to thank him for reminding me of the power that athletes have to be a positive influence in the world.