Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a message for some of his peers in the NFL. He’d like them to stop portraying “tough guy” or “gangsta” images, because according to Bridgewater maybe only 1.5 percent of guys in the league are about that life.
“Tired of seeing football players portray this tough guy image or pretend he’s gangsta,” Bridgewaterposted on Instagram. “You went to school, attended those classes, and some even got their college degree.
“So, don’t wait until you inherit this legal money from the league to decide you want to be tough or portray a ‘street image’ cause it’s kids that’s looking up to everything we do.”
Not a new message, but one that probably should be put out there by a current player in the league. Several of Bridgewater’s peers chimed in and agreed, including: Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, DeSean Jackson and Micah Parsons.
Bridgewater’s bio on Instagram reads “Neighborhood Hope Dealer.” Very clever play on words.
Adopting a lifestyle or mentality that you see being glorified on social media that is not your situation is never a good idea. While difficult, especially when you’re young, being true to yourself will always be the right choice.
Whether they like it or not, athletes are role models and kids do look up to them and idolize them. The ubiquity of social media in their lives makes it all the more important to not put out messaging that will influence kids negatively. With great power (fame and money) comes great responsibility.
Bridgewater does his best to put that message out and give back to his community.
“Look at me,” Bridgewater added. “I’m far from perfect, but I chose the ball route but I still can go to the hood and post up and it’s all love. My people accept me for making all the right decisions and not falling victim or being tricked by the false image you see on IG from a lot of ball players.”
In 2018 Bridgewater made a trip to his hometown of Miami to give back to his community. He rented a U-Haul box truck and filled it up with bicycles, backpacks, school supplies, Super Soaker water guns, and other toys. Then he parked it on 15th Avenue and let the neighborhood kids take what they wanted. When they emptied the truck, Bridgewater opened his wallet and gave the children left in line $20 each to go get something for themselves.
Bridgewater was drafted in 2014 by the Minnesota Vikings and spent four years with the club. He was rookie of the year and named to the Pro Bowl during his tenure. He suffered an injury and missed his entire third season and lost the starting job.
Since 2017 he’s played for four different franchises and this past offseason he signed a one year-deal with the Miami Dolphins for up to $10 million. Bridgewater will start as the backup behind Tua Tagovailoa but could push him in training camp and if there’s an injury or poor play, Bridgewater is more than a capable starter.