Footballers must do more to help young, says ex-NFL star and new Boris Johnson mentor

 

Premier League footballers are not doing enough to help disadvantaged young people, according to the American sportsman recruited by Boris Johnson to mentor London’s teenagers.

Former American football star Cecil Martin, who has been appointed as an ambassador for mentoring by the Mayor of London, said he believes top players “need to do more” to mentor young people in poorer communities.

Mr Martin, 38, who played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and is now a Sky Sports commentator in the UK, has been awarded the position on the newly formed committee for mentoring young people.

Through various schemes being developed over the next year by the mentoring advisory board, Mr Johnson hopes that eventually 10,000 young people will benefit.

Speaking exclusively to The Independent, Mr Martin said: “We believe Premier League footballers need to do more but it’s up to the players to want to do it.

“I think this initiative can add another place for these football clubs to nudge these footballers and athletes to be a part of. A lot of them will remember what got them to where they are, but sometimes you get caught up with things and you’re not in the frame of mind to give more.”

Mr Martin, who grew up in a deprived suburb of Chicago, has been a volunteer since he was 17.

The committee also includes Ray Lewis, the former deputy mayor of London, Pete Reed, the double Olympic gold-medal rower, and Andrew Bone, a senior executive at De Beers. It is chaired by Ashish Prashar, a PR executive. 

Mr Lewis, the Mayor’s mentoring adviser, said: “You don’t get the sense that it’s the culture of our footballers do you?

All too often when our people do stuff, they want a lot of fanfare, where it’s the quiet, understated work that is often the most effective. And there’s no doubt that footballers can make a huge impact in the lives of our young people.”

The Premier League hit back at the claims. A spokesman said: “Premier League clubs have a fantastic track record of investing in and committing to a wide range of good-cause initiatives in the UK and overseas.

“Last season that included £45m of investment in community and good-cause programmes that engaged more than half a million people.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Call Handler

£14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a Sales Ca...

Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers unique pers...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor