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NFL Veteran, Erik Coleman, Inspires Others Through Philanthropic Work

Erik Coleman (Photo provided by Indra PR)

Erik Coleman (Photo provided by Indra PR)

Former safety of the New York Jets and NFL Veteran, Erik Coleman has a lot to be excited about at this time in his life. With a healthy family, a successful broadcast career and current football off season in full swing, Coleman has the options to explore some other opportunistic endeavors.

The current Sports Analyst is investing his time in giving back to the community and supporting various non-profit organizations. As such, Coleman will be awarded for his efforts by Manhattan Youth Baseball with the “Excellence in Sports & Philanthropy Award” on Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the Grades 2 Play Celebrity Charity Casino Night.

“It’s an absolute honor to receive an award from Manhattan Youth Baseball,” Coleman said. “To be able to mentor young kids is something that is near and dear to my heart.”

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing excellent baseball training and educational opportunities for New York City since 1990 for families who cannot afford the programs provided. Coleman not only sees the importance in helping kids in and out of the classroom, but in inspiring students that their possibilities are endless.

“I came from an underprivileged upbringing; my parents worked hard to give us what we had. But once my parents got divorced, it was tough,” Coleman said. “It was tough on me and so it’s always great to help out people when they go through tough times especially when they don’t have anyone to lean on.”

Coleman believes in the potential he sees in kids and young adults and therefore, uses his skills and means to help others. Throughout his life, he had various influences and mentors that were present which helped him succeed and more importantly, stay on track.

“I was blessed with a lot of great people in my life that helped me get to where I am today and I feel like it’s my duty to pass that along to the younger generation,” Coleman said.

Among those people that guided Coleman in the right direction throughout his life included his high school coaches who left a lasting impression on him.

“There are so many people; Bernard Mallory – he was one of my first baseball coaches. My high school football coach, John Hook; my high school basketball coach, Terry Reed – there are countless people I wish I could name them all,” Coleman said. “I’m forever grateful for all of those people.”

While Coleman goes about his day-to-day activities, he strives to remain positive to those around him. He’s learned more about himself from his interactions with the youth and realizes that the stage he stands on allows him to be a voice of reason and hope.

“When you have troubles at home and you have negative influences around you, it’s hard to talk. You keep everything inside,” Coleman said. “When you find someone you can talk to who can relate to you, it helps you relieve stress, become more optimistic and acts as a reminder that you’re not alone.”

As a professional athlete, Coleman recognizes that his actions influence both men and women and believes that he was deliberately placed in this type of position. All the experiences he has been through and have endured helps him relate to young athletes. “When I was growing up, my father wasn’t involved in my athletic upbringing, so I appreciate the coaches that were involved in mine. I don’t know if the coaches realize how much they meant to me and the influence they would have on my future, but it was huge!” Coleman stated.

Coleman puts his family first in all aspects of his life. While his acts of charity continue to work together, he would like to see these efforts come to fruition by the way other athletes, coaches, friends and family do the same to help others. “I hope that people realize that you can help others in many ways and be a shoulder for someone to lean on. The children are our future,” Coleman said. “If I could encourage someone to pay it forward and to work with kids in any way, I would. You never know whose life you can influence for the greater good.”

“I hope many of my fans and supporters can join me when I’m presented with the “Excellence in Sports & Philanthropy Award” on Thursday, April 7, 2016, at the Grades 2 Play Celebrity Charity Casino Night at Ben & Jacks Steak House in NYC. You too can make a difference in the lives of others beginning with the underprivileged youth who love sports and have the same dream I once had.”

To learn more about the Grades 2 Play program and to buy tickets:

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