When we look at the finances around the sports world, it sometimes seems beyond comprehension the money that’s being thrown around to those playing a game for a living.
A lot of the focus then turns to the finances as they relate to the salary cap and other economic aspects of the sport. Faceless players receiving millions of cold-hard cash. Number crunching, and nothing more.
When it was announced late last week that the Detroit Lions signed corner Darius Slay to a four-year, $50.2 million contract extension, the immediate focus was to analyze this from an on-field perspective.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 29, 2016
Slay, a second-round pick of the Lions back in 2013, has started 16 games in each of the past two seasons. He’s the team’s top defensive back. Even then, the idea of giving someone of his ilk over $11 million per season seemed a tad ridiculous.
Now talking about his new contract, Slay himself seems to understand just how lucky he is. Not only that, the former Mississippi State standout was pretty emotional when hearing about the Lions’ contract offer to him.
“I tried to hold my tears in,” Slay said, via MLive.com. “But I couldn’t too long, just because of where I came from. I shed a couple tears, man. I cried on (Glover Quin’s) shoulder for a second, because he sees me as a pup — as a young guy — and saw me coming up and doing this right now.”
A native of Brunswick, GA., a city with a population of 15,000, Slay talked about his rough upbringing — something that likely led to the emotions he showed when hearing about the contract offer.
“Coming from where I’m from, it’s hard,” Slay continued. “I had a rough life as a kid.”
It’s especially nice to hear a young man display this type of emotion. Slay fully understands how lucky he is to receive this opportunity. And through hard work, everything he’s done in his life up to this point led to this payday.
It’s a story you don’t hear too often.
At a time when the central focus of the media is crunching the numbers and analyzing the financials from a team-wide perspective, it’s really nice to read a story about a young man that fought his way from a rough upbringing to become such a success as an adult.