Former Cardinals cornerback and current NFL ambassador Aeneas Williams talked to the team recently about respect in the locker room and various policy changes in the league.
Aeneas Williams played for the Cardinals for a decade, making him a natural liaison for the NFL to the team. The former cornerback was just elected to the Hall of Fame, giving him extra credibility among current players. Williams is also an engaging speaker.
So it made sense that Williams visited the Cards during their recent offseason-ending minicamp as an NFL ambassador for an hour-long interactive talk addressing some of the policy changes in the league, the culture in the locker room, the use of the N-word and the reality of the first openly gay player in the NFL.
The idea, Williams said, was to create dialogue. A good culture already has been put in place by coach Bruce Arians, Williams said, emphasizing respect, loyalty and trust.
“I have a vested interest because someone preserved the game prior to me playing and I want to leverage that experience with current players and let them know of their responsibility,” said Williams, who has been an NFL ambassador working through the NFL’s player engagement department for more than three years.
The reality is the changes are necessary “for the longevity of the league,” Williams said.
When talking to the players, Williams used an analogy of a cement truck coming in to put in a new sidewalk and the ability for a kid to sneak over and make a mark in the cement to stand forever. For Williams, whose playing career is long over, the cement is dry. For current players, the cement remains wet.
“They now have the opportunity to decide through their choices and decisions what they will sign off in terms of their careers,” Williams said.
For a video about Williams’ visit, watch above or click here.