The following guest post is by Travis Bell, an NBPA and CFLPA certified Contract Advisor and owner of The Seven Bridges Group based in Newport Beach, CA.
This past Saturday morning was just like any other Saturday morning during the 1st week of December. I was looking forward to the SEC Championship game and the ACC Championship game featuring my alma mater, Florida State. And what Saturday would be complete without my De La Salle Spartans going after their 21st straight North Coast Section championship? Even though we had powerful storms here on the West Coast, I was in great spirits.
However, the good vibe was shattered when the news about Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher hit the wires. There are no words to describe the pure shock, disbelief and horror I felt as the story unfolded. I didn’t know Jovan, and to be honest with you had never even heard of him before Saturday, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that 2 young people are gone and families, friends and teammates’ lives are changed forever.
We may never know the true story of what led to this tragedy. We may never know if this could have been avoided. We may not even know if there were warning signs missed. What we do know is athletes are human and have feelings, emotions, and moments of indiscretion.
As agents, and I’ve been guilty of this was well, we tend to look at our clients in terms of what they mean on the field, court or diamond. Looking towards that roster bonus, extension, incentives, and new contract.
That’s fine, that’s our job, but like I said in the aftermath of the Junior Seau tragedy, what about the soft skills? This world can be cruel, a rat race and unforgiving. We’ve put so much emphasis on concussions and their impact, and rightfully so, but as Contract Advisors let’s ask ourselves what more can we do. Is it matter of limiting our client base to ensure we can provide personal service, a matter of employing Client Relationship Managers to support our clients?
I don’t have the answer, but its high time to embark on a mission to discover answers and protect our clients.