You have to hand it to Bengals cornerback, Adam Jones. Even when it looks like he has taken a step back in the rehabilitation of his personal image, the embattled NFL veteran does what he can to try and have others learn from his mistakes. He has been a speaker at the NFL's Rookie Symposium the past two offseasons and has had another opportunity to speak to youth this weekend.
Jones, along with Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, spoke to over 200 kids at a Cathedral City football camp. Cathedral City is a suburb of the Southern California desert oasis city of Palm Springs. The camp, hosted by WBO Champion Timothy Brown, is a big event for the area's youth.
Jones was interviewed at the event (via USA Today's Laken Litman):
"The only thing I can talk about are true life experiences," Jones said. "I’m going to be honest with them and whatever questions they ask me, I’ll answer. Be accountable and responsible for all your actions. School is cool, guns are not. Just keep working hard, enjoy your childhood."
Jones said his whole outlook on life is different these days and wants to convey that to kids. He says he’s involved with the community in Cincinnati and enjoys giving back.
"I don’t do the things that I used to do," he said. "I don’t hang with the guys that I used to hang out with. I’m a father, I have a great fiancé, I work hard every day, and I try to lead by example.
"In the past, I was a little wild, wanted to be out every night, all night. There are better things in life, you know what I mean? And thank god for my beautiful two little girls. They really changed my outlook on life."
The words spoken by Jones have been ones he has echoed over the past few years. Even in the wake of assault allegations from an incident with a woman at a local Cincinnati bar, Jones has remained steadfast in his stance that he has changed as a person from when he first entered the NFL.
Because of his personal background, it's likely that Jones will have plenty of these opportunities to speak in the foreseeable future. Even though he has some demons in his past, it's good to see that Jones is still trying to warn others about the pitfalls of a certain lifestyle.