Mathieu’s concern – and plan – for New Orleans

Posted by Darren Urban on April 11, 2016 – 5:16 pm

The tragic murder of former Saints defensive end Will Smith over the weekend has clearly impacted Cardinals safety and New Orleans native Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu has been everywhere over the past 24 hours, filling up his Twitter timeline with comments and doing multiple national interviews to talk about trying to change what he sees as an often-violent culture of his hometown.

On the NFL Network Monday afternoon, Mathieu said he is about to start a charitable foundation and he wanted to use it to spearhead change in New Orleans.

“We have to redirect, restructure these kids into thinking those things aren’t cool anymore,” Mathieu said. “Going to school is cool, being accountable is cool, being responsible is cool. Those things are the cool things to do. I ‘m going to use my platform, and I think this is the perfect time for me.”

Mathieu, who at 23 is not that far removed from being a kid himself, laments the lack of facilities for kids to be in, especially after hours when those in single parent homes don’t have a parent at home because mom or dad is working a night shift just to make a living.

“It’s about who we surround ourselves with,” Mathieu said. “Most of these kids surround themselves with the wrong people and form bad habits. For me, it’s about reaching out and getting them to understand that, formulating a legit plan, an honest plan for these kids, and a strategic one so we don’t lose these kids in the process.

“I am not the most talented guy to come out of New Orleans. There are guys that are more talented than me that just gave up on themselves. If I can lend a helping hand and get those guys to believe in themselves and see the bigger picture … if I can get through to one kid, then I can get through to a thousand kids. That’s my plan.”

Mathieu said in a couple of interviews he doesn’t spend much time in New Orleans when he goes there now — quick trips to visit family, and then leaving again, because of a concern the wrong crowd could come looking for him. The Smith murder was terrible, but so too are the many other tragic deaths that happen far too often in his hometown that often get overlooked, Mathieu said. That’s why helping kids when they are younger and trying to break the cycle is so important.

“They don’t think they can accomplish anything,” Mathieu said. “They do not think further than New Orleans. When I say that, I don’t exaggerate. For me, it’s getting them to believe there is a life outside of New Orleans, there is a life outside of that culture.”






Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Mathieu’s concern – and plan – for New Orleans”

  1. By CreditCard on Apr 11, 2016 | Reply

    Mr. Mathieu is a diamond. He is thoughtful, charitable, generous, well grounded, and demonstrates leadership skills you normally don’t see in a man in his early 20’s.

    Geezo I almost forgot, he is an excellent football player.

  2. By BeatSF on Apr 11, 2016 | Reply

    #32…I wear your jersey with pride of the person you have become! You will make a difference in NO. Thank you.

  3. By D on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    It’s not just New Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis, Miami, etc…it’s like we have gone backwards with shootings/violence in this country to the 1960’s. Kids are being killed daily in the South Side of Chicago..but where is the outrage nationally??? I don’t blame guns, I blame the shooters, and the drugs, broken families….etc… criminals, gangbangers, dope dealers don’t obey gun or drug laws…..more laws and gov intervention don’t solve problems…..starts with the family… It appears that Mathieu is on the right path to helping kids realize there is hope…we need more media attention to athletes like Mathieu, or A. Williams who are trying to make a difference in the community…instead of the tabloid crap that is helping the cultural rot grow…

  4. By BayArea on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    Mathieu is a stand up guy who truly cares and is a great example for all kids. The slimy thugs who are threatening him don’t know how to be real men and do something to get themselves and help others out of the ghetto.

    Kudos to Mathieu!

  5. By CbusOhio on Apr 12, 2016 | Reply

    Good for Mathieu! He called it right…I don’t care what the reason is..the piece of dog doo that killed smith is pure garbage…Smith was what was right about New Orleans and Cardell Hayes is what is wrong in New Orleans. Hope that piece of garbage gets what’s coming.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply


    Smith’s death;

    Aren’t you jumping to conclusions? Hayes is what is wrong in NO? He is a piece of dog doo doo?

    As far as I know, there was an altercation. Smith hit Hayes car then drove off. Smith is heard saying he has a gun. We don’t know all the circumstances. Why don’t we let it play out?

    Don’t let what the article is about to be lost. The article is about a hero named Tyrann Matheu who wants to stop senseless killings and build families, education, and do what is right. Honey Badger is what is right in America.

    It is terrible that people result to shooting each other over little disputes. It is tragic that families are left to mourn because of violence. But, there is a cardinal who wants to change the world. Reminds me of a cardinal who wanted to protect his country. People who think bigger than themselves.

  7. By Ralph, LSU-70 on Apr 13, 2016 | Reply

    I like your plan very much. First you are a person who can make a difference. But remember this problem (s ) did not start overnight and they will take a long term effort by many to change. You are a person with perseverance and not one to let adversity stop you from your goals. Remember that while changing this culture will take a long time, it is done one child at a time, and over time with many persons doing as you plan, you all will succeed. So please do not get frustrated if the progress is not as fast as you hope ; the key is for many people to keep helping one kid at a time.

    I feel LSU and the Arizona Cardinals and NOLA is very lucky to have you as a representative; certainly as an LSU alum I feel that way.

    Best of luck on your foundation. I will be looking to see how it does and hopefully contribute what I can to help you.

  8. By clssylssy on Apr 14, 2016 | Reply

    Proud of Tyrann and other NFL players for using their celebrity and resources to make a difference in addressing this ever growing national epidemic of violence. Our youth are the nation’s future and greatest national resource but our priorities are so convoluted that we give away more in foreign aid & frivolous government spending than we do on education and community based programs to prepare individuals with life skills. This is not a problem unique to NOLA,we have the same problem here in Phoenix.
    When we were kids we had recreation programs available but rec centers have closed because they became a recruiting ground for gangs and until we change our values and make education and personal integrity cooler than flashy rides and pricey external trappings, the best efforts of these players will be a drop in the bucket. This is a cause that we should all get on board for as morality cannot be legislated and as the saying goes, “it takes a village…”
    Such a sad situation but thanks to TM for making an effort to bring about change.

  9. By Dr. G. on Apr 14, 2016 | Reply

    Props to Tyrann for trying to be a voice for this awful situation in Nawlins’… he just needs to consult the PC &Race police so he doesn’t step on his tongue. Throwing money at a problem will not solve the scary streets.

    Some of the reasons this area is blighted:: a majority of the homes were rented; the owners took the FEMA money and abandoned the place leaving the tenants with nothing…so they started leaving also…no rebuilding to be done..9th Ward etc… Lake Ponchartrain was not kind. They didn’t even use the thousands of temp homes the tax payers provided. Many do not know the French settled this city though it is many feet below sea and lake level. Go figure!

    On another front, the young girls trust the young men to stick around when the kids are born…nada…welfare, food stamps etc…take over and the young boys are free to run the streets with zero supervision without being properly socialized.

    Parks, gyms, clubs etc. will help some, but if there is little guidance to enhance the family units and to educate the young women and men to be responsible about having children, success in building safe communities is futile. Children having babies…and the young kids go into survival mode…a natural consequence without familial anchors.

    Tyrann….if you travel the USA, you will be enlightened to discover there are many cities with similar issues…but it’s good to try to start somewhere, huh? Just try not to hold the wrong people//businesses accountable. Your naivete has awakened…you have lots to learn…be careful.

  10. By Eazy E on Apr 15, 2016 | Reply

    This is commendable! Honey Badger is right about a lot going on in the boot, but blaming music partially namely hip-hop is wrong though. I love his overall message of getting the kids minds right and positive.

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