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LaDainian Tomlinson’s Electrifying Hall of Fame Speech: ‘I Advocate We Become Team America’

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Slavery is viewed differently now than it was at the country’s beginning.

Although everyone is aware of slavery being the backbone of America, not everyone is aware of the impact on members of slave families alive today. NFL running back, LaDainian Tomlinson recently gave a powerful speech while being inducted into the hall of fame that illuminated the good and bad of being from a family of previous slaves.

Via IJR:

Tomlinson gave thanks to God, his mother, Loreane Chappelle, and to his coaches for propelling a young man who he said once lacked in self-confidence all the way to the halls of Canton.

But it was the closing six minutes of his speech that gave Americans chills for its unifying message:

“If this was my last day on Earth, and this my final speech, this is the message I’ll leave with you. The story of a man I’ve never met, my great-great-great grandfather George. 170 years ago, George was brought here in chains on a slave ship from West Africa. His last name, Tomlinson, was given to him by the man who owned him. Tomlinson was the slave-owner’s last name. What extraordinary courage it must have taken for him to rebuild his life after the life he was born into was stolen. How did he reclaim his identity, his dignity, when he had no freedom to choose for himself?

“I grew up on the land of a former slave plantation. And although I didn’t know this as a child, it is where my great-great-great grandfather tilled the soil. A few years ago, I visited that same plantation in central Texas with my family and stood in the slave quarters where he lived. It’s now named Tomlinson Hill.

“My name began with the man who owned my great-great-great grandfather. Now, it’s proudly carried by me, my children, my extended family. People stop me on the street because they know me as L.T. the football player, but after football, people have begun to recognize me as LaDainian Tomlinson, not simply for what I did as a football player but for who I am as a man. The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons.”

Watch Here:



This is America, the land of the free, yes that freedom came at a high cost for many but the results are Americans like Tomlinson.

About Myron Cohen

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