Most of us love stories of redemption and I confess to being one of them. Having spent years as both a mom and a professional educator, I’m always touched by someone who makes a mistake, really learns the lesson and then turns it into a positive lesson for others. The latest example of this is Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle.
After being caught shoplifting a package of underwear and a bottle of cologne at a Dallas-area department store recently, he was fined $29,500 by the Cowboys after his arrest. But ESPN reports that Randle has become the spokesperson for the Los Angeles-based MeUndies underwear brand and that the company will pay him enough money to help defray the cost of the fine.
As part of his agreement with the company, Randle will reportedly donate up to $15,000 worth of underwear and apparel to kids in need and will make appearances at various Dallas-area schools and charities speaking to students about learning from their mistakes.
According to MeUndies head of marketing and business development Dan King, “Joseph felt the need to turn a negative situation into a positive and teamed up with MeUndies to give back to his community and help families in need.” It was King who contacted Randle’s agent after hearing about the shoplifting and they decided to turn the incident into a lesson for others. It was certainly a smart marketing move on his part and also on the part of Randle and his agent.
Randle said that “There is no excuse for my mistake last week, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I let down my coaches, teammates, and family. My agent and I have spent a lot of time looking for ways I can turn my situation into a learning experience for young people.” He continued to explain that “Partnering with MeUndies allows me the opportunity to give back to others less fortunate than myself, and spread a positive message of not making the same mistake twice.”
Good for Randle! I hope that as the hard media spotlight continues to shine on the misdeeds of our professional athletes, the offenders will take a play from Joseph Randle’s book of how to learn a lesson and then share resulting insights with others.
As a diehard Steelers fan, I’ve never liked the Cowboys. But you can bet I’ll now be rooting for Randle in spite of the fact that he’s playing for the “wrong” team. Yep, I love a redemption story.