The Founder

What is Character?

Founder Chris Draft served as an Ambassador of Service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in both 2009 and 2010.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. “

Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

What is Character? It is a set of unchanging, unwavering, indestructible standards that are pillars of human conduct. They are pillars as strong as those supporting the Greek Parthenon, the Roman Coliseum, or the White House. Positive character traits should be as untouchable as Eliot Ness, never changed for convenience sake, as they truly are what make a man what he is. Good character is the standard that we all shoot for, or should shoot for, on a daily basis. Character is a stationary target, demanding that we be honest with ourselves as we measure our actions against it.

Why begin with Character when I’m writing an article about football?  Football is all about character. To be able to maximize our ability and worth to our teammates, we must maintain certain character qualities.  As professional athletes, we are expected to uphold these character traits that are put to the test at the end of every summer in training camp.

How does character relate to training camp? We are expected to be responsible, to persevere through the weather and injuries, to have compassion for our teammates, to push forward with courage, to treat everyone with respect, to be honest with ourselves, our teammates and the coaching staff, and to strive for a high-level of self-discipline. All that sounds great-- until its 105 degrees! All these great traits sound amazing, in theory, until you put someone under pressure, which is what training camp is all about.  Training camp pushes the players to the edge to find out what we are really made of. If we embody the traits for any period of time we can earn the respect of our teammates. It’s not about just having great character some of the time, it’s about having good character all the time. Proof of character invites the players, the coaches, management, and the community to say, “I trust that man as a player, as a man, and as a friend.”

Training camp and all the meetings, all the taping, all the cold and hot tubs, the weights, the practicing, the tackling, the blocking, sleeping in hotel or dorm rooms, pushing your body to the limit – they all come back to two words: Respect and Trust. Do your teammates respect the way that you work and will they trust you when the game is on the line?

In both 2009 and 2010, Chris Draft joined civil rights icons, national service leaders, academics and celebrities are as who were named as  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Ambassadors. For both 2009 and 2010, Chris Draft was the only active athlete to serve as an Ambassador.

2010 - National PTA Ambassador Chris Draft Leads Projects on MLK Day

2009 - Draft Named Ambassador of Service for MLK Day