I thought long and hard about joining in with players across the league and making a visual statement—a T-shirt or a hands-up gesture—but ultimately I decided against it. I asked myself, What message am I sending out? Am I going to end police violence? Racism? No, of course not. So how can I evoke change?
I got some news nine months ago that helped me reach a conclusion. My girlfriend, Ashley, and I are expecting our first child, a boy, any day now. I’ve realized in the last year that I can evoke change by being a great role model: a man who respects women and police officers, who graduated from college and does everything in his power to be successful within the rules.
Circumstances dictate where you start—a single mother raised Kam Chancellor to become the man he is today—but each individual determines his course. Where I came from, in Compton, kids were brainwashed into thinking that if they weren’t athletes or rappers or drug dealers they were nothing. My son will understand that he’s in control of his own destiny and that education, work ethic and discipline will guide him to an even better life than I’ve enjoyed. He’ll be the man who makes this world a better place through positive actions and influence.