Vince Young, Yeah Predictable Cycle of Self-Destruction!! : ThyBlackMan

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Vince Young, Yeah Predictable Cycle of Self-Destruction!!

September 23, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( *I remember a few years ago, on the cover of ESPN The Magazine, a picture of NFL player Vincent Young.

The image was taken shortly after Vince Young won the NCAA championship for the Texas Longhorns, the institution that has made billions on the backs of unpaid black athletes.  On the cover of the magazine were the words “I was born to play football at The University of Texas.”

When I saw the quote on that cover, that’s when I knew Vince Young was doomed.

Since that time, Vincent Young has been cut from the Buffalo Bills, possibly ending his NFL career.  He became depressed and suicidal a few years ago after losing his starting spot with the Tennessee Titans.  He has also gotten some attention for blowing $30 million dollars in six years by “making it rain” at the club and reportedly spending $5,000 per week at The Cheesecake Factory.

Vince Young isn’t the first, or the last, professional athlete to blow through money like he didn’t want it.  Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens and Allen Iverson are some other recent examples, as we get to watch our nation’s gladiators  melt down into little punks as they cry about the fact that they’ve lost it all.

The reason that I felt sorry for Vince Young when I saw that magazine cover is that I realized that this was a man who has shaped his entire identity around sports.  He sees no other value that he can add to humanity that goes beyond throwing a football to entertain white people.  There is a good chance that education has fallen on the backburner, and there is also a chance that he’s engaged in the other destructive habits that can pollute the life of an athlete:   sexual promiscuity, excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol, financial irresponsibility and other poor life choices.

Then, years after that athlete sits at the top of the world, he finds his life and his soul in the pits of hell.   This is the story that can sometimes be told before it even happens, and I only hope that one day, we can learn from the mistakes of others.

The fact is that it’s easier to become a surgeon than to become a professional football player.  It’s easier to become a high paid attorney than a rap star.  A person has a much easier path to wealth by being a business owner than by trying to get into the NBA.  Also, without education, you’re lost.  The wealthy athlete who can barely read is sure to be ripped off by his Harvard-educated business manager, who can replace him with another kid from the ghetto next year.

By not thinking about his life and choices off the field, Vince Young has created a life full of regrets.  He, like so many other athletes, signed up for a life of slavery and an existence that makes him only a shadow of the man that he could have been.  Any black man who walks away from education and the ability to engage in leadership and critical thinking makes himself as worthless as the crack head on the corner, in large part because he is choosing to destroy himself and neglect his community by not using his powerful platform for a productive purpose.  There was a time when athletes prided themselves in being leaders of the community, but now, too many athletes are too busy Buck-dancing for a chance to get a Reebok commercial.

I love my brothers and I love sports, but we should all decide that we hate the embracing of ignorance.  It’s time to make a change.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit


11 Responses to “Vince Young, Yeah Predictable Cycle of Self-Destruction!!”
  1. Jaye says:

    Although I agree there are some points made with not clearly corroborated information, I think this article makes some extraordinary points. Yes, perhaps Mr. Young was NOT keyed in on entertaining a certain demographic (by the way, that statement does not point the blame at anyone outside of Vince himself – even though the statement appears thinly laced with prejudice) and it is clear to me that Mr. Young did desire and achieved education – that doesn’t negate certain key inferences in this article like the unbalanced value placed on athleticism over education within many segments of our society.

    With that stated, there are some things in the article that alarm me. “The healthy athlete who can barely read” is a strong statement within this article – in an adverse way. It could lead a reader (or readers) to believe athletes are uneducated to a greater degree than is reality – particularly, Black athletes. I believe this article could have gone from good to great without tying Vince Young to the inferences (whether intentional or otherwise)…

  2. Papacool says:

    Before the blame game gets to take root, maybe all of us need to take a deep breathe of air and apply some logic to the situation. Unless there is a financial course set up in the ElHi path of education, I do not recall learning anything about money, faith, or how life works once a person gets the basic learning package. There was no home economics for men, and if there was, the stigma of being labeled gay was just too much for guys to handle. The majority of my life lessons have come after I separated from my parents to experience what it would be like to be grown. All these years later, my respect level for what my parents endured to get me to stand on my own two feet has grown tremendously, even though my Dad has passed on. I am thankful for all of the extended family members that took a moment out of their busy life schedules to try to sharpen my awareness of what would be awaiting me in my journey of being a man. As with Vince, I was ignorant of what being responsible was all about as I grew up around role models who emphasized the quest of laying every female possible whenever the opportunity to do so arose. However, when conception occurred, they were nowhere to be found, nor did they ever come to the rescue in the area of being supportive. While it is easy to criticize a person’s actions do we ever stop to transpose ourselves into that person’s shoes. Just imagine what you would have done in that situation given all of the money and fame that came along with the program. Have we made it in society to the point that we forget what sacrifices were made along the way? It was not too long ago that states like Arkansas, Alabama, and even Texas practiced and espoused segregation and vowed that no minority participation could ever become a reality. So to all of the athletes that quote/unquote make it only to forget where they came from, it is time for a serious reality check. Just knowing that a person of color could be killed for some of the same bs that we now take for granted is enough to keep one scared straight not only for this lifetime, but in the world to come. All of our forefathers and foremothers did not die in vain for us to think that we have accomplished getting to the Promised Land. Where are the financial advisors or even Black leadership in helping Vince and others like him correct the errors of their ways? Money gives people to do things that even they could not have imaged doing. It can corrupt as well as heal if used properly, but who is to say what is proper? If I was on the receiving end of things, why would I change to do what is right as long as I was getting a free ride? With all of the talk shows out there hosted by Black entertainers, where is the show gathering up all of those that were along for the ride? Remember when Hammer was hot and Michael Jackson was black? Rick James was giving up the funk and Whitney Houston was an angelic voice of musical reason? Each one of these examples have suffered as a result of achieving a level of success that most people can only pray for. The lessons learned from each case is what should be discussed and not in a negative fashion. Having sinks and tubs made of gold, and having a never ending supply of drugs, or being able to waste the God given talent to the point of poverty is not my idea of why these people were put in the limelight. Ironically, some of these individuals are worth more dead than they were alive. To whom much is given, much is required. For example, if people who had it did the right thing we would be in a much better place as a society. But due to individual greed, the inability to use critical thinking, and just flat out not knowing how to give in a meaningful way without getting something in return. We can and have to do better. Vince has served as the poster boy of what can happen when you gain the whole world, but lose your soul in the process. Instead of mercy, all he seems to find is grief for being a failure when he still has alot to give. We all know what it is like to have to depend on others to show forgiveness, mercy, and even kindness. Family members, friends, and associates do not mind riding when things are great, but seem to jump the tracks at the moments they are needed the most as things go south. Let him/her without sin cast the first stone, but remember your own glasshouse before you let one go. Peace out, Papacool.

  3. dave rickey says:

    “He sees no other value that he can add to humanity that goes beyond throwing a football to entertain white people.”

    So he only entertained white people at UT and Tennesee. It’s sad to see racists like you ( the writer ) that are in denial. Your inference is that somehow WHITE PEOPLE are to blame for Vince’s downfall. His agent and chief adviser were both black. Just come out and frame EVERYTHING in racial aspects and blame nothing on poor Vince. Or other spoiled athletes, both WHITE or BLACK! You are almost certainly more racist than Bud Adams and Jeff Fischer.

  4. Scott says:

    Your piece, Dr. Watkins, should be preserved forever as an example of what NOT to do as a staff writer. It seems that your intent in writing this was to express your thoughts and feelings about racial issues faced by black men with extraordinary talents. You fail to support your opinions with factual information. In fact, you offer unsubstantiated speculation, opinions, and outright falsities. Your article is not news, but rather an atrocious opinion piece supported by either lies, or lack of research. While I believe a retract and apology are due from yourself and, I doubt that will happen. So, I’ll take it apon myself so correct your errors, and set the record straight.

    You state: “He sees no other value that he can add to humanity that goes beyond throwing a football to entertain white people. ” Purely an unsubstantiated opinion.

    “There is a good chance that education has fallen on the backburner”. A simple Google search would have made you aware that Vince earned Acedimic Honor Roll at The University of Texas, an announced his return to college to earn a degree in Education only three days before you posted this article.

    “and there is also a chance that he’s engaged in the other destructive habits that can pollute the life of an athlete: sexual promiscuity, excessive consumption of drugs and alcohol, financial irresponsibility and other poor life choices.” This is completely unsubstantiated, unsupported, and irresponsible speculation.

    “The wealthy athlete who can barely read is sure to be ripped off by his Harvard-educated business manager, who can replace him with another kid from the ghetto next year.” As it relates to Vince, this could not be further from the truth. The fact is that Vince has allegedly been “ripped off” by Kieth Young, a middle school coach and Vince’s uncle; Major Adams, a longtime friend of Kieth Young, who earned his law degree from Texas Southern; and Ron T. Peoples, who graduated from Winston-Salem State University. Non of these men are “Harvard educated business managers”. They are all black men who were family trusted friends of Kieth Young. Perhaps you missed this article posted in 2006 by The Houston Chronicle.

    “Any black man who walks away from education and the ability to engage in leadership and critical thinking makes himself as worthless as the crack head on the corner” I’ve already shown facts to disprove this in Vince’s case.

    “he is choosing to destroy himself and neglect his community by not using his powerful platform for a productive purpose.” This is ether an outright lie or lack of research with respect to Vince. He has actually spent plenty money helping in the community. The Houston Chronicle had an expert look at his foundation, and he didn’t find waste and mismanagement, he found giving.

    “He sees no other value that he can add to humanity that goes beyond throwing a football to entertain white people.” Perhaps there is some truth here. I dropped my UT season tickets this year after having them for 17 years because I felt that the money has become far more important than the athletes and fans.

    Orr the record, I’ve never met Vince Young. When he was a freshman at UT, a young black man approached me at a Texas tailgate party. He and I were as narrow minded that day as you seem to be today. To me, he looked like a thug, and quite frankly he frightened me. To him, I looked like one of a hundred thousand white brisket cooking rednecks, and I frightened him. Somehow, we each mustered up the courage to talk. He was then engaged to Vince’s sister who was pregnant with his child. Today he’s Vince’s brother in law. He was from a rough predominately black neighborhood, and I was from a relatively privlaged, mostly white suburb. Through a mutual interest in football we developed a great friendship. That man has tought me more about race, acceptance, open mindedness, and human nature that I can express. I think he would say the same.

    My challenges to you Dr. Watkins, are to not be so quick to put people into categories. You clearly know very little about Vince Young, and it’s seems that you did very little research before categorizing him as a back entertainer who doesn’t value education, self, or community.

    More importantly, I’d challenge you to redirect your efforts a bit. Why not use your incredible education, passion, and notoriety to make changes rather that write inciteful opinion pieces. I challenge you, Dr. Watkins to pick up the phone tomorrow morning and reach out to the NFL and NFL Players Association to offer your sevice and support. You were the only African American man in America to earn a PHD in Finance the year of your graduation. If you can accomplish that, surely you can help affect change to the disturbing trend that has claimed Vince and so many other young people, by volunteering your time to coach, advise and mentor them.

  5. The problem with athletes, entertainers, and people who make a lot of money is they have no guidance in how to manage their money and give back to their community. By the time they’re able to show ability as a teenager or younger, they’re already under the influence of people who see them only as a dollar sign. I put most of the blame on our people. In my book Black Unity: The Total Solution to Financial Independence and Happiness, I have a section on first, how we don’t know our value and second as a community, we don’t look out for our own. But we are quick to ride the gravy train.

    With all the past great athletes and entertainers, you would think they would have an organization or group who could take these talented youngsters under their wing and guide them through the pitfalls of life in the fast lane. I also talk about creating our own sports and entertainment organization that can guide the youth while at the same time generate profits that can go into creating other opportunities in our community and helping to solve some of the other problems in our community. How we should stop being endorsers and become owners. But we seem to think that only people outside our community can do the things we need to do in order to be successful. Until we start to take control of our community, someone else who doesn’t have our best interest will always be there to take our place. At least for the ones they can make money on.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  6. KN says:

    You will never get what you want by playing the victim. This article is rife with passive-agressive racism and a victim-mentality. The Vincanity debacle, along with all the others like it, is NOT NOT not Not nOT NOt noT not a racial issue: it is a social issue. What befell VY has much less to do with his skin color than the platform on which he has based his adult life and professional decisions. He didn’t fcuk up because he is black, he fcuked up because he never wanted to learn how to be a functional member of society who plays sports… He was always a football player first, now what is he?

  7. Nicholas says:

    @Walter…has the correct slant on the deal with these NFL players. There are about 1,696 football players on NFL rosters, the average salaries are $1.9 per year, the average careers are 3.5 years. The NFL provides rookie clinics and siminars that explains what to expect from there new careers. Football as a career is an opportunity, and needs to be managed, it could be over with a single injury.

  8. Pete says:

    You are correct with the article but one thing is OFF. It’s not a Black/white thing it really isn’t. It’s a money thing and this happens to white players also. We all know blacks dominate sports so to the uninformed person it may look like it is a black thing but it is a whom ever is the player THING. This would happen to Chinese people if they ran 4.3 40ies at 6’2′ 210 lbs. Why do you think it’s necessary to make it a black thing very poor choice. If you want equality you should realize we are all one and it’s not only about abuse of BLACK players it’s about abuse of all players. An average scholarship broken down is worth about .65 cents an hour. WHY because first all scholarship athletes are required to do a FASFA for aid many are from poor families so they get big packages the athletic department pays what is left on average 15% of costs. or about $7,500 divided by Fall football/Winter workouts/spring football/summer training = .65 cents an hour slavery to both whit and black PLAYERS.

  9. Michael says:

    Didn’t VY go back to Texas to finish his degree? Was that also a poor choice made just to entertain white people? Don’t black folk also enjoy football? This article is pretty worthless dribble. But hey, that’s just one white dude’s opinion.

  10. Walter says:

    Wait..this dude blows all of his money and its white people’s fault?

    BTW, its not just white people who watch and enjoy football. And college athletes are hardly “unpaid”. They get a great free college education, the opportunity to freely use millions in the best equipment, top nothc medical care and the possibility to go into the pros and earn 50 Million dollars!

    I wish my people would stop the victim mentality. Somebody always oppressing you, right?

  11. Thom Mason says:

    Well written and well said.

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