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Head Coach Jerod Mayo Shares Black History Month Message with Patriots Fans

Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo shares an open letter with fans in honor of Black History Month.

Mayo 1

Last month, I had the honor of being named the 15th head coach of the New England Patriots. I can't thank Robert and Jonathan Kraft enough for the trust they have placed in me to lead this franchise. I eagerly accept the responsibilities and the many challenges ahead.

As we celebrate Black History Month, I was asked what it means to me to be the first Black head coach in franchise history. I recognize the significance of this achievement, and deliberately pause to reflect and remember the many men and women who helped pave the way. I know that I am a beneficiary of the hard work and sacrifices of those before me and I am honored to continue the progress.

Diversity is important to me. Not just in racial composition, but in every form, including gender, age, experience, origin and religion. Diversity allows us to broaden our thinking as we are exposed to different perspectives and life experiences. It is through this exposure that we must be willing to open our hearts and minds to learning, growing and ultimately changing. NFL locker rooms are some of the most diverse workplaces on the planet. I think people can learn from NFL locker rooms where people from every race and every background work together to accomplish a shared goal.

Being the first Black head coach of the Patriots was not my goal – being successful is. I define success, in addition to winning, as having the ability to create equity and opportunity for others. I do not take that responsibility lightly, and I believe my actions will clearly demonstrate my commitment to create an inclusive and diverse environment for all to reach their potential both on and off the field.

The Patriots franchise has shown tremendous confidence in me since the day I was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Being selected 10th overall brought high expectations, which fueled me throughout my playing career. I never wanted to disappoint the Krafts, my coaches, my teammates or the Patriots fans. I was eager for every daily challenge and motivated to succeed. In return, I was rewarded with such a warm welcome here in New England and quickly adopted it as my permanent home.

Today, I am a first-time head coach where my professional playing career began 16 years ago. Football has long been a passion of mine, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to continue using it as a platform to positively impact the lives of others.

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