Caged Birds and Broken Wings:<br />
Laveranues Coles on Black Boys and the Silence of Child Molestation

Laveranues Coles

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it.

But one day a man came to the training facility and left a message for me. In his note he said that his son had seen me on Oprah and had gotten the courage up to tell him that his uncle was abusing him. That helped me to see how important it was to tell the truth. This is happening to kids everyday and if my story can help one kid, that's worth the backlash.

EBONY: What is your opinion on the Jerry Sandusky case?

LC: I think it's sad. I think the officials were more interested in protecting a multi-million dollar brand. If this were any other situation - if millions in sponsorship dollars weren't at stake - then Joe Paterno would have told him to go. But the most important thing for the university was Football...and money.

EBONY: What's next for Pro Bowl champion and MVP player Number 87?

LC: Well I've just retired, and I'll be coaching the NY Jets starting this summer. But I've joined an organization called Protect.org. An actor friend of mine named David Keith got me involved. They are bringing attention to child trafficking, prostitution and child sexual abuse. They are lobbying the U.S. government to give more resources to combat these issues. The country spends trillions on wars and barely seven million to stop exploitation and abuse of children. I'm going to do everything I can to bring attention to it. People don't realize the number of kids that are victimized. They have no idea. So it's time to give them a name and a face. It's time to bring an end to all of it.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing regularly on MSNBC, Al Jazeera, CBS Washington and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.