Tarik Black: 'Family is more important than anything else'

Jan 15, 2019 by Tarik Black - Tel Aviv, Israel Print
Tarik Black: 'Family is more important than anything else'

In the professional athletics line of work, there are many blessings. We get to do what we love, travel, and are financially stable. Athletics definitely has more perks than down things to it, but like any occupation, it is not perfect. As athletes, there are many things our families sacrifice to pursue this calling. As fairytale as professional sports may seem, it has a very down-to-earth reality. Like for other working people, there is very limited family time.

I, myself, am of the thinking that family is more important than anything else in this world. Like other people who work time-consuming jobs, we empathize with you and share the sentiment of not being able to have an ample quantity of time to enjoy our loved ones. We may go weeks or even months without having a complete day off to spend with our family; which is unfortunate.

"As athletes, there are many things our families sacrifice to pursue this calling."

Like others who work strenuous jobs, we can relate to those whose line of work takes a toll on their bodies. We just played last night and during our game, one of the players stepped and fell to the floor. Because there wasn't excessive contact – or any at all, we were not sure what happened, but as he lay there twisting in agony, we soon realized what it may have been. He grabbed the heel of his foot and could not put weight on it, so we all figured he may have torn his Achilles. I saw that happen to a college teammate of mine before as well. He was running down the court and it just tore.

Our bodies go through a lot of strife, from small aches that everyone experiences to risking serious injury like what I just mentioned. That is the risk we take to do what we do, and some injuries never heal properly. My coach my rookie year played basketball professionally and messed his ankle up. To this day, his ankle is still really swollen and in pain, and he has a hard time walking and can't run.

"As professional athletes, we are human beings as well."

I know many people who work jobs that make one of the parents a stay-at-home parent. Most times that is the case for professional athletes. Our schedules are so time-consuming that it doesn't leave much space for our spouses' lives to thrive. They, essentially, have to take on the burden of the household by themselves. Taking on the role of cooking for the family, cleaning up the house, and the day-to-day duties of parenting on themselves, without a proportionate quantity of help from us. With our travel schedules as well, it's not as though we are just missing parts of the day, but we could be gone for days or even weeks while they are home alone.

That's tough on parenting duties and on marriage and relationships, so we understand that plight full well. As professional athletes, we are human beings as well. As much awe that surrounds our lives, there is still the reality of life for us. There are everyday issues we face and our line of work humbles us. We make similar sacrifices that every family makes to maintain stability, and finances aren't the only things that matter in life. Before they are anything else, athletes are people who have to make sacrifices and endure hardships. It is not a perfect world to live in, as no world is, but it is worth it because we do what we love and it blesses us.