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LaDainian Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame message: Become ‘Team America’ – Fort Worth Star Telegram

LaDainian Tomlinson used his Hall of Fame platform to send a message to the country about coming together and not slamming doors on others in such a polarizing political time.

Tomlinson personalized the message by using his own family’s history going back to when his ancestors came over as slaves. Tomlinson’s great-great-great grandfather George unwillingly came to America from West Africa 170 years ago and, now, the Tomlinson name is enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“My name began with the man who owned my great-great-great grandfather,” Tomlinson said. “The family legacy that began in such a cruel way has given birth to generations of successful, caring Tomlinsons. I firmly believe that God chose me to help bring two races together under one last name — Tomlinson.

“I am of mixed race and I represent America. My story is America’s story. All of our ancestors, unless we’re American Indian, came from another country. Another culture. Football is a microcosm of America — all races, religions and creeds — living, playing, competing side-by-side. When you’re part of a team, you understand your teammates – their strengths and weaknesses and work together toward the same goal — to win a championship.

“I advocate that we become ‘Team America.’ In sports, we’re evaluated on our desire, our ability and given a chance to compete. America is the land of opportunity. Let’s not slam the door on those who may look or sound different than us. Rather, let’s open it wide for those who believe in themselves that anything is possible and are willing to compete and willing to take whatever risks necessary to work hard to succeed.”

LaDainian Tomlinson’s Hall of Fame message: Become ‘Team America’ – Fort Worth Star Telegram

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