La’Roi Glover’s 13 years in the league earned him six consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and four All Pro selections, NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, and numerous other honors. Along with his remarkable career, the defensive linemen served as a player representative for four years. We got the chance to catch up with Glover on all things football, family, and life after the league.
Q: What is your current career?
A: I’m currently the assistant defensive line coach for the New York Jets. This is my first year with the Jets, but prior to this, the last eight years I was the director of player engagement with the St. Louis Rams.
Q: How would you describe your experience leaving the game?
A: I don’t know if my experience was normal or abnormal, but I knew going into my last season that it was going to be my last season. So I left as a free agent, and I started making plans at the beginning of my 13th season about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was a relatively smooth transition.
Q: What was the role of the player reps during your era?
A: I thought it was phenomenal. From a relationship stand point, we had some of the more prominent players from each team as player reps, so that always helps. There is strength in numbers. I think from an information standpoint – the flow of information. When I was a rep, Gene Upshaw was in leadership and he did a phenomenal job, rest in peace. He always made sure the reps had the information they needed, they could pick up the phone and call someone to get the information; they were always readily available. So from that standpoint I thought it was phenomenal.
Q: How has being a player rep benefited you today?
A: From the standpoint of knowing as much as you can about all facets of whatever business that you’re in. Not just about X’s and O’s on the field, but really being able to follow the dollar, so to speak. What’s going on with the stadiums, what’s going on with the coaches and owners, and more importantly what’s going on with the players. You were looked at as a leader in the locker room, and if there were issues going on in the locker room or on the field, you were able to police them. It gave you a full grasp of the rules and regulations.
Q: Are you still close with an of the player reps today?
A: When we do see each other it’s a friendly relationship. It’s always good to see guys you served with; who you worked with trying to make the league a better place when we left it.
Q: What was your favorite meeting sight?
A: We always went to Hawaii, so that was always the favorite for my wife and kids, and a favorite trip for me as well. To go to a secluded location that was beautiful, and for the bulk of the day get some real hard-hitting information, and see some phenomenal presentations. Then after the work is done, go to the beach or go hang out with your family.
Q: What advice would you give to current players?
A: Don’t take the opportunity for granted – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. The game is great, the league is great – I know we are getting a lot of scrutiny from the public for various reasons – but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being a member of the NFL, at the end of the day, made me a better person; being a member of the NFLPA made me a better person. So don’t take any second for granted that you spend in the NFL.
Q: Can you share a funny story of your time as a player rep?
A: There was always a guy or two that is reluctant to go to the meetings, for whatever reason. Some were maybe reluctant to participate in the 401k, so taking the time to explain to the guys who were reluctant the benefits of the 401k was always interesting. Understanding that they do get a match for what they put into the fund. The funny part comes in when many of them have no idea that they’re going to get a check at the end of this particular meeting. Seeing the guys light up when they get this check – they light up, they could set the room on fire. The guys that did not participate in the meeting will literally hound you every single day to make sure that they get their check. My advice to them is, look man you should have come to the meetings. [They say], why didn’t you tell me we were gunna get a check? I say, well that’s not the motivation, that you’re going to get paid – you should want the information. This all occurs in a very funny way.
Q: You mentioned you have children – what are their names and are they interested in sports?
A: I have a son, his name is La’Roi junior – he’s 14; he’s going to be a freshman in high school. I have a daughter named Neomie – she just turned 12. I have a younger daughter Sophia, she is 10. My two oldest are interested in basketball, and my youngest is interested in horseback riding, and runs track.
Q: How has the leadership position of being a player rep helped you be a father?
A: You can always pull some qualities from that – about accountability, about having a responsibility to people other than yourself. Often times fearlessness and selflessness, which it takes to be a player rep. When there is a violation, or when things aren’t going according to plan or rule, so I think there’s some ethical considerations to think of as well.
Tags Former Players