Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams doesn’t believe in participation trophies. Not even for his young daughter Rhiya. After she received a congratulatory ribbon for simply participating, Williams returned the meaningless ribbon. The motivational tactic seemed to work like a charm because she won the next event and earned a 1st place ribbon, which he posted to his Twitter.
Did her father’s disapproval of mediocrity drive her to winning? Possibly. I’m not sure at what age you should stop rewarding kids for just showing up, but it seems like winning is a great motivator instead of simply being happy with just participating.
Williams may have picked up this sentiment from fellow Steelers player James Harrison. Last August, Harrison returned the participation trophies for his 6 and 8-year-old sons and posted about it on his Instagram.
“I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better,” Harrison said in the post.
Williams does deserve a trophy for his philanthropy. His charity, the DeAngelo Williams Foundation, teamed up with the Charlotte Knights, Carolinas HealthCare Foundation and Charlotte Radiology will provide 53 mammography screenings and follow-up care for women in Charlotte. The event is called “Strong for Sandra,” to honor of Williams’ mother who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53.