Outside the Athlete: Willie Mays Impact

By: Layne Herdt
By: Layne Herdt

When Willie Mays comes to town, and you have the chance to here him speak, you can bet you're going to soak up every word, just good luck explaining your experience.

Kevin Clethan says, "There are so many words to explain it, I can't even think of one now."

Tony Thomas, Jr. says, "He's just, he's just hilarious, I'm speechless after what he did today."

Mays is widely considered the greatest living baseball player, but as good as Mays was on the field, he will be forever remembered for helping shatter the color barrier in athletics.

Myron Rolle says, "I'm able to play football at Florida State University because of guys like Willie Mays who have paved the way for me, so it's great to be in the presence of people who have made such a big contribution to the black community and America in general."

And that's one of the reasons why young players like Clethan and Thomas idolize a legend like Mays.

Clethan says, "I try to put it in to our time now, and it's like you can't give up no matter what people tell you. If they tell you you're too short or too little, I can still do everything he can do."

Thomas says, "He's a big idol in my life, I look up to him in every aspect. He plays it for the love and he's talking about how the game's changed and people playing it for the money and he wishes people would play it for the love again, and that's exactly the way I play the game right now."


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