My mentor Bob Sperling taught me how to be a man and how to handle my business at a crucial age, when I was living in Chicago. He helped keep me out of trouble. So he definitely inspires me.
What is your proudest accomplishment on the field and off the field?
My proudest accomplishment so far has to be earning a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. I’m very excited to have a chance to extend my career in a great place.
What was one of the greatest adversities or barriers you had to overcome to get where you are now?
Moving to Chicago from Jamaica was one of the biggest transitions in my life. I definitely experienced some culture shock! It was very hard to adjust to the American school system and my neighborhood in Chicago. I’m glad that I found football, which set me on the path to go to a great school and start a great career.
I didn’t watch football as a child, unless you’re talking about soccer! However, I did watch the Bears when I was in high school, and I think Robbie Gould is one of the greats. I’ll never forget his game-winning field goal for the 49ers last season at Soldier Field — it was pretty special to be a part of that.
Shortly after I got drafted, I started the Laken Tomlinson Foundation with a goal of increasing access to mental health care services for families in Detroit.
Why is supporting mental health important to you?
I graduated from Duke with majors in Psychology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and my wife is a clinical psychology graduate student. As you might expect, we think a lot about mental health and related issues. Unfortunately, between difficulties with insurance and availability of providers, it can be hard for people in the community to access the care they need. I hope to one day make a difference in this area.
Look out for us in the future! Hopefully through LOTE we can make connections that help get us closer to our goal.
My dogs always make me laugh. I have two golden retrievers, Douglas and Daisy, and they are both total goofs. Douglas is so sweet but never has any idea what’s going on, and Daisy will absolutely wipe out in pursuit of food. They’re pretty great!