Snoop Lion (center) with Willie McGinest, Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman on Saturday (Yahoo! Sports)
By Paul Palladino and Myles Simmons, Special to Yahoo! Sports
Rapper Snoop Lion got a lot of support from the NFL community for his youth league's annual Family Fun Day in Los Angeles last weekend. DeSean Jackson, DeMarcus Ware, LaMarr Woodley and Richard Sherman were among the current NFL players instructing participants of Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL). Seattle Seahawks head coach and former USC coach Pete Carroll was also on hand.
"This is the best thing in the world to be able to flex your muscle to call on your NFL friends to show up, and they really show up and give you love," Snoop said at Crenshaw High School on Saturday. "I mean, wow, I didn't realize I had this many friends."
Snoop, who will be voicing a character in the upcoming animation film "Turbo," discussed SYFL's success.
"I think before [Saturday] we may have had five guys who were going to go to the NFL," Snoop said. "I think we're probably going to have like 50. Just because when you're around it, you soak up the information and you're a part of it, you become it. And I believe we're bringing these players next to the kids, it's only making them want to do it more now. They know that they can do it.
"It's always been the sport where you organize and unify. It teaches camaraderie, it teaches everything. Football is an aggressive sport as well. We come from an environment where a lot of this aggression is not known how to be put out. So this is a great way to put out the aggression and as well as be taught how to be organized and play a fun sport."
Ware, the Dallas Cowboys' seven-time Pro Bowl pass rusher, said he could relate to the children.
"Now I'm in a position to really give back and motivate the kids and that's sort of where it starts up for me," Ware said. "So to have an opportunity to now be out here and seeing sort of where you come from and where you thrive from, and how you can make it out of this type of environment. It's time for those guys who have the role-model ability to get out and reach out to the kids, and hopefully reach them and hopefully do something positive."
The Philadelphia Eagles' Jackson praised Snoop for his commitment to the community.
"It's a blessing to be here for these kids," said Jackson, who also released a new documentary this weekend on his journey to the NFL. "This being my home area and coming out here with Snoop, I really appreciate him having this camp to give back to these kids. As long as I'm able to come and support it, that's what I'm here for."
Woodley, a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, emphasized the impact the athletes can have on the mindsets of the children by making an appearance.
"I grew up in the same kind of community back in Saginaw, Michigan," said Woodley, who also took a moment to share his best Snoop impersonation with Yahoo! Sports. "When you play football, you have to learn to work with one another, just like in the work field. Learn how to work with one another. Learn how to play your role. Learn how to listen to the coaches. You have to take some things you learn on the football field and take it to the classroom and take it to the work field."
NFL.com video on Snoop going one-on-one vs. Richard Sherman
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- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Snoop Lion
- LaMarr Woodley
- DeMarcus Ware