Gerald McCoy: Change doesn't happen overnight

In celebration of Father’s Day, Tampa Bay Times asked prominent African-American fathers in sports about addressing the challenges of raising a family in today's climate fighting inequality and racism.

‘Stop spreading so much hate,’ Gerald McCoy wrote.

He joined longtime National Football League coach Tony Dungy and World Series Champion Gary Sheffield among others.

“In today’s times and climate, everybody raises their children differently, but I think what gets misunderstood and what people don’t know is the types of conversations as an African-American man you have to have with your sons, the love you have to show your family.” 

Monica Herndon, Tampa Bay Times
McCoy, his wife Ebony have five children ranging from ages one to 18, his oldest son Marcellus attends a Tampa Bay area private school. He will attend his father's alma mater while he recognizes the privileges of being a professional athlete, he understands his children are black in America.

“I’ve been blessed to be put in a situation where I’m able to live in a certain area, my kids go to certain schools,” McCoy writes.

After attending Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, his family calls Tampa Bay home after being drafted third overall in 2010 National Football League Draft.

“Because you being a black kid walking up the street, the police see you and they’re going to assume the worst.”

McCoy knows change doesn’t happen overnight, but it starts with a conversation.

“Don’t be afraid to have these conversations. It’s going to take everybody to create this change. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

To read more visit Tampa Bay Times.

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