Bengals cornerback Adam Jones will be addressing NFL rookies at the league’s rookie symposium again this year as part of the effort to inform rookies about potential trouble and how to avoid it.
It’s a decision that some have questioned in light of Jones’ recent arrest on charges of assaulting a woman outside a bar in Cincinnati. During an interview with Mike Garafolo of USA Today proclaimed his innocence of the charges and defended his presence at the symposium — Why would I not keep talking to the youth and help the youth out like I did last year because of somebody else acting up? — as a speaker who could testify first-hand to how making the wrong decisions can impact one’s football career.
“My goal is to just give back to the community and the league and to let them know you’re accountable for everything you’re doing,” he said. “There’s nobody who’s gotten more chances than me and, when you do, when you’re back in those situations … you’re always going to be judged by your past, regardless of what anybody says. I just want to try to enlighten some of the guys so they don’t have to go through the things I went through.”
The assault charge still needs to work its way through the legal system, so Jones isn’t quite done going through the things he wants to enlighten rookies to avoid in the future. That’s all the more reason for him to give a speech that holds himself up as an example of someone who has made too many of the wrong decisions over the course of his career.