An NFL Team That Truly Cares About Preparing Athletes For Life After Football
Do professional sports franchises have a duty to prepare their athletes for the future, after they retire from playing in the competitions they love? There is probably no legal duty for these employers to care about what happens to their employees once their playing contracts have been terminated or expired, but that is not getting in the way of the Miami Dolphins dedicating the necessary resources to better their athletes off-the-field anyway.
Starting on Sunday, February 24, more than thirty currently rostered Miami Dolphins players are expected to come together to plan out their collective futures. The program, referred to as the 2019 Miami Dolphins Business Combine, in association with Athlete Transition U, is purely philanthropic — the sole goal is to place athletes in a better position than they were prior to the event.
From February 24 through February 28, Miami Dolphins players will work on expanding their networks, enhancing their business acumen, being exposed to industries of ther interest as well as some that may be outside of their comfort zones and competing against each other while gaining skills during the process. One unique competition is a Shark Tank styled event led by RSE Ventures co-founder Matt Higgins (who has previously served as a “Shark” on the popular show).
Participating athletes will have the opportunity to meet with many entrepreneurs, including some who have playing experience. For instance, former NFL players Dhani Jones and Justin Forsett will provide advice to current players on what it is like to build businesses either while in the league or post-retirement. Additionally, participants will meet with former National Basketball Association stars Shane Battier, Alonzo Mourning and Juwan Howard to get a glimpse into what their lives have consisted of since retiring from the league.
The entire event is led by Dolphins player development director Kaleb Thornhill and supported by the club’s very progressive owner Stephen Ross. It proves that the Dolphins organization is certainly one that cares about the well-being of its players both on and, importantly, off the field. Further, the fact that more than thirty current players are expected to attend demonstrates the buy-in from the franchise’s athletes and their dedication to making themseleves more well-rounded individuals.
Ross could easily be a stand-off, billionaire owner who merely cares about the bottom-line. Instead, this business combine, as well as other endeavors such as the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), show that he truly wants to create a playing field where athletes are able to grow not only in their primary trade, but among a broad spectrum of discliplines.
Expected participants in the 2019 Miami Dolphins Business Combine include Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Kenny Stills, Vincent Taylor, Cameron Wake, Laremy Tunsil, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kenyan Drake, Davon Godchaux and Jerome Baker.