Buffalo Bills Jairus Byrd and his father Gill Byrd, who is a former NFL player and now a coach for the Chicago Bears, are teaming up to prove how important father-son relationships truly are. The Legacy Experience is a free program they started together for fathers and sons in Rochester, NY and Buffalo, NY.
The program focuses on doing activities to improve and strengthen the relationship between fathers and sons in Western New York. The program will include the use of football and other activities in order to connect fathers and sons, as well as teach both the parents and children involved important life lessons. Jairus and Gill Byrd realize the importance of family and how much of an impact the relationship between children and their parents has on a child’s “personal legacy.” This program began just in time for Father’s Day and Pro Player Insiders caught up Jairus to find out more about the Legacy Experience.
Pro Player Insiders (PPI): Can you tell us about your Legacy Experience program and how long it’s been around?
Jairus Byrd (JB): We actually just started it. This is the first dinner that we actually did this Saturday, so it’s actually just getting started. It’ll be like a yearlong thing that involves a bunch of different phases for those involved.
PPI: With the Legacy Experience being for fathers and sons, what is the main goal of the program?
JB: The goal of the program is just to build father-son relationships. We want to get them doing more things, communicating more, spending more time together, and things like that.
PPI: What kind of activities do you have the fathers and sons doing throughout the year?
JB: Writing essays and doing different things. We are trying to get them involved, I’m having an opportunity for them to come to games and spend more time together doing that. We are also going to have them communicating with me and my dad as far as live chats and things like that.
PPI: How much did your father, Gill Byrd, influence you growing up and throughout your journey to the NFL?
JB: Oh he influenced me a lot, you know, as a kid that’s who you look up to – your dad. Seeing him do a lot of different things that he did that really influenced me and impacted me on the way that I approach things.
PPI: What do you think are the most important lessons or messages your father has taught you throughout your life?
JB: Just to work hard and just that it’s not where you start, but it’s where you finish, so just to keep your head down and keep working.
PPI: If you have children one day or are mentoring children, what kind of legacy would you like to leave with them?
JB: I would like to leave them a legacy of knowing hard work pays off and to build your trust in your faith. I want them to be rooted in your faith and to always put in hard work.
For more information about the Legacy Experience and to watch a video with Jarius talking about the program click here.