LaDainian Tomlinson, remembering his roots, calls for change

LaDainian Tomlinson thanked many people in his Hall of Fame speech, but his theme focused on his roots.

The former Chargers and Jets running back, who owns NFL records for most touchdowns in a single season (31), most rushing touchdowns in a season (28) and most points in a season (186), began his 26-minute speech speaking of responsibility.

“All the men on this stage who’ve played this great game understand our responsibility extends beyond the football field,” Tomlinson said. “We don’t merely represent ourselves. We represent the game, our team, our community. To play in the NFL is an honor, a privilege, not simply a right.”

Tomlinson ended by thanking a man he never met. Tomlinson’s great, great, great grandfather arrived in the United States 170 years ago in chains on a slave ship from West Africa.

“The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinson’s,” Tomlinson said. “I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name. Tomlinson. I’m of mixed race, and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country, another culture. Football is a microcosm of America. All races, religions and creeds living, playing, competing side by side.

“. . . On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another. My great, great, great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow. One of the most eloquent orators of our time said it best in his farewell address. Paraphrasing and humbly building upon what President Obama said, ‘We all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it.’ I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change, to hold fast to the faith and the idea whispered by slaves: Yes, we can.”

25 responses to “LaDainian Tomlinson, remembering his roots, calls for change

  1. “Paraphrasing and humbly building upon”… Obama?? Obama, who created a video where Jane grew up and lived her entire life sponging off the gov’t?? Obama, under whose admin race relations have cratered to something not seen since the ’60s?? That Obama?

    I didn’t hear a bit of Obama in a speech about how people can drag themselves up, even out of the bonds of slavery, and become something and make a life for YOURSELF. There was no Obama in that speech. THAT speech was inspiring and not even a little bit divisive. Obama probably doesn’t even understand a word Tomlinson said.

  2. Save your childish political banter and listen to the message the man is trying to send. You can always count on the lowest common denominator to completely miss the point.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with his speech I would just give the slaves who were persistent in their pursuit of freedom more credit than I’d give Obama. Those who served as slaves and the generations who followed and fought for their rights helped to unite the generations that followed. Obama tore that down and caused a division. Thumbs down and post a comment in disagreement all you want but at least provide a legitimate response that proves me wrong

  4. To cite Barack Obama – exposed as a hustler who helped impoverish Chicago’s south side by The Boston Globe BEFORE his election as President – shows Ladanian Tomlinson is a fool. You want to advocate change, Ladanian, here is what you should have said – “Football proves you’re never entitled to anything in life, it teaches you have no right to ask for more than you objectively deserve, it teaches that your lot in life is your responsibility and your mistakes are your fault, no one else’s. We need to hold each other accountable in life, always.”

  5. Always been a fan of LT, a humble guy who didn’t make his hall of fame speach about himself. He used the forum as an opportunity to spread a positive message he hoped would bring people together.

    Tool? No…

  6. ringheadcrusher says:
    August 5, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    “Paraphrasing and humbly building upon”… Obama?? Obama, who created a video where Jane grew up and lived her entire life sponging off the gov’t?? Obama, under whose admin race relations have cratered to something not seen since the ’60s?? That Obama?

    I didn’t hear a bit of Obama in a speech about how people can drag themselves up, even out of the bonds of slavery, and become something and make a life for YOURSELF. There was no Obama in that speech. THAT speech was inspiring and not even a little bit divisive. Obama probably doesn’t even understand a word Tomlinson said.
    ——————
    Seriously? You should really get past your bias and read many of Obama’s statements over his 8 years. Don’t diminish what Tomlinson said. And if you think the speech was inspiring, I suggest you look very hard at the currant POTUS and his dismantling of the American dream.

  7. Good idea but I’m not sure Obama is one to be mentioned for this. Obama did nothing but set race relations back 30 years. Sorry, but stuff like this can’t be forced, legislated or talked into. It just happens over the time and had been. We were far more integrated than we were 40 or 50 or even 20 years ago before Obama set foot in office. It was going pretty well, slowly but surely. The guy did everything he could to drive that wedge back in, just look at the way we are today.

  8. The United States of America is the most inclusive country in the world by far. We bring in the most immigrants. We accept the most refugees. Our population is as diverse as any country in the world. We are not a discriminatory nation. If you have talent and produce, you get rewarded. Look at professional sports, majority of black players. The players who produce play. The ones that don’t don’t. Do we believe that people running businesses are any different than pro football. They hire the people that will produce for them regardless of race. I heard a lot of SJW and open boarders in that speech. I’m sorry that I want closed boarders. I’m sorry that I want to stop the influx of illegal immigrants into our country who by the way commit violent crime at the rate 5x that of legal citizens. I’m sorry that I want to stop the flow of heroine into our country (90% through the southern boarder) which is responsible for 46,000+ overdoses each year. I’m not as enlightened and virtuous as everyone else.

  9. he is 100% accurate with this positive approach. we are all Americans and part of a greater melting pot, regardless of how we got here. Enough of the race based politics, handouts and reverse racism – this will only continue to divide us. the political parties that push this garbage want us to be divided. anything for them to stay in power, anything to make an elected official with a modest salary a multi-millionaire. these politicians and one sided press are the true enemy of our nation.

  10. ringheadcrusher says:
    August 5, 2017 at 10:55 pm
    “Paraphrasing and humbly building upon”… Obama?? Obama, who created a video where Jane grew up and lived her entire life sponging off the gov’t?? Obama, under whose admin race relations have cratered to something not seen since the ’60s?? That Obama?

    I didn’t hear a bit of Obama in a speech about how people can drag themselves up, even out of the bonds of slavery, and become something and make a life for YOURSELF. There was no Obama in that speech. THAT speech was inspiring and not even a little bit divisive. Obama probably doesn’t even understand a word Tomlinson said.
    ===================
    full agree. obummer was one of the most disappointing presidents we have ever had. I voted for him 2x – and kept hoping… yet here we are. time to drain that swamp and let him and his croonies go down the drain. he was the opposite of hope, change and anything positive.

  11. Hes a football player or was. not a human rights activist. no1 really gives a crap what he thinks.

  12. I have always been impressed by LaDanian’s talent. I found his character severely lacking after that Patriots playoff game. He redeemed himself in my eyes tonight. That speech will be his highlight moment.

    We are a diverse community of people here in this country. We should show more respect and understanding for one another. That goes from a rookie cop to Richard Sherman. Kaep was a divider. LaDanian tried to help unite us with that speech.

    It may not have been perfect, and you may be holding onto some hatred, but give the man credit for trying to move us forward and celebrate the country that we are.

    It sure beats rich guys telling us how hard they have it while the mess stays the same.

  13. pancaketaco says:
    August 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Obama Divider and Chief
    ————————

    I don’t understand. Is Trump better? The guy does nothing but stoke resentment. He has put Sessions in power who has ordered to throw the book at anyone with drugs, because him and Trump got friends with money that are in the private prison business. It’s a big reverse from treatment and the trend of private prisons closing down. Who is filling those money pot prisons? Low level offenders. They also serve as a way station for all the illegal immigrants being rounded up, because although the percentage of illegals being gathered by ICE are up, deportations are lower. Then we have the transgender tweet saying they are not to serve in the military, although thousand have and are willing to give their blood for the Country they love. Even after a 2 year study concluded anyone willing to make the sacrifice is welcome to serve. If anyone thinks for a second a wall will cut down on drugs coming here you’re brainwashed. Or if you think a wall will cut down on illegal immigration. Most illegals come here on visas that then expire from Africa and Asia. If you think race and gender are worse now take a look in the mirror. The last 8 years have been the most inclusive in history and that threatens people who would like to go back to the good old days. So yes it does make a sort of bubbling pot of division, but it’s not a bad thing. Progress is not easy. History shows that pretty clearly.

  14. I don’t understand. Is Trump better? The guy does nothing but stoke resentment. He has put Sessions in power who has ordered to throw the book at anyone with drugs, because him and Trump got friends with money that are in the private prison business. It’s a big reverse from treatment and the trend of private prisons closing down. Who is filling those money pot prisons? Low level offenders. They also serve as a way station for all the illegal immigrants being rounded up, because although the percentage of illegals being gathered by ICE are up, deportations are lower. Then we have the transgender tweet saying they are not to serve in the military, although thousand have and are willing to give their blood for the Country they love. Even after a 2 year study concluded anyone willing to make the sacrifice is welcome to serve. If anyone thinks for a second a wall will cut down on drugs coming here you’re brainwashed. Or if you think a wall will cut down on illegal immigration. Most illegals come here on visas that then expire from Africa and Asia. If you think race and gender are worse now take a look in the mirror. The last 8 years have been the most inclusive in history and that threatens people who would like to go back to the good old days. So yes it does make a sort of bubbling pot of division, but it’s not a bad thing. Progress is not easy. History shows that pretty clearly.

    Absolutely true; check the facts (not provided by Fox). Immigrants do not commit more crimes than natives, a wall will do nothing but cost $$$ ( is this Medieval times?) the last 8 years were progressive on many fronts and not divisive. What has divided us is the current resident in the White House (or Florida, or NJ) who has given a voice to racists, misogynists, ultra-conservatives and xenophobes among us.
    Kudos to LT …..someone had to say it.

  15. Love ya LT thanks for the years of excellent play for a team that didn’t deserve you. One of my all time favorite Bolts!

  16. Absolutely true; check the facts (not provided by Fox). Immigrants do not commit more crimes than natives, a wall will do nothing but cost $$$ ( is this Medieval times?) the last 8 years were progressive on many fronts and not divisive. What has divided us is the current resident in the White House (or Florida, or NJ) who has given a voice to racists, misogynists, ultra-conservatives and xenophobes among us.
    Kudos to LT …..someone had to say it.
    ========
    its cute the way you lefties try to muddy the waters calling out all immigrants. nobody is against LEGAL immigration, yet you cant seem to get your litle heads wrapped around that fact.
    ILLEGAL immigration is in itself, a crime – so to say they dont commit more crimes when their very entrance to the country or overstay on a visa is a crime is an outright lie.
    its ok though snowflake. you can go to canada and make excuses for every druggie, rapist or murderer. afterall , they are all misunderstood in your world.
    in America, we will enforce the law and respect the borders. #MAGA!

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