Former Michigan, pro lineman uses platform for good

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Amid the coronavirus pandemic and a national reckoning with racial inequity, professional athletes have used their positions to help spread a positive message.

Among them is Maurice Williams, a former lineman at the University of Michigan and for the Jacksonville Jaguars. These days, he’s the team chaplain and part of sports ministry Athletes in Action. One thing he does is help athletes transition out of pro sports as they retire.

He said pro athletes have a “unique platform.”

“They have attention on them because of the talent they have,” he said. “There are ways athletes can help out and make an impact. They can help in the ministerial work in their communities. They can help feed those who are struggling financially right now. partner with organizations where maybe they can give.”

==Watch the full interview with Williams above.==

He said Black athletes are also in a prime position for to speak up for other Black men and to share knowledge to others.

“I think we need the voices of young men to speak up and to speak wisely. I know my experience as a Black man in this country, but I can’t let that be my only knowledge that I have of the issues,” he said. “I have to go back and study history. I have to go back and study and really see what is taking place. So if I am going to be a voice, the way to be the best voice right now is to speak from intelligence. I can’t just speak from a place of pure emotion.”