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Jordan McNair's family honors legacy through advocacy

McNair Foundation camp
Posted at 10:40 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 09:45:48-04

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It's been a year since University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair died from a heatstroke.

One year ago, it was hard for McNair's parents to find the words.

They found their strength through advocacy.

“As opposed to spending our time grieving today we figured this would be the best way to honor Jordan,” McNair’s father Marty said.

With 50 members of the University of Maryland Football team by their side, the McNair’s, held the Jordan McNair Health and Wellness Sports Clinic at Jordan’s alma mater, McDonogh School.

“Even though Jordan's gone, he’s still helped me grow as a young man and a lot of my teammates,” University of Maryland football player Tyran Hunt said. “He’ll forever be with us.”

Marty McNair said heat stroke and heat injury is 100 percent preventable, and that all teams at all levels should have a plan for stopping it.

“A 3-minute emergency action plan can save somebody's life, and that’s what we’re here teaching today,” Marty McNair said. “What’s the closest hospital? Who has the ice? Who’s in charge of the cold water tub? Whose going to call 9-1-1? Five or six things in a three-minute meeting will make a difference and save somebodies life.”

Parents were upstairs learning how to recognize when and how to step in with the McDonogh athletic trainer.

“I’d rather a hundred parents run on the field every game and every practice as opposed to one dead child,” Marty McNair said.

New University of Maryland Football Coach Michael Locksley said that Jordan’s death was a big eye opener for programs across the country, and his school is now at the forefront of heat safety.

“The things that came out from his passing have enabled us,” Locksley said. “We put a bunch of processes and protocols in place that we utilize with every practice and every time we step on the field.”

Downstairs the college athletes were running drills with kids from 8 to 13, teaching them the fundamentals of football, and the importance of knowing your body and what it needs.

“Heatstroke and heatstroke prevention is definitely something that is important in all sports, let alone football,” Jake Funk, a University of Maryland football player said.

Cayden Bruce, a 10-year-old Boy's Latin student, knows the importance of keeping your body right when playing and practicing.

“It’s good because that was just like a lesson for them to like give people drinks, don’t be dehydrated,” said Bruce.

With number 79 on their backs and his legacy in their hearts, the McNair Foundation is spreading awareness about the mistakes that killed their son.

“It could have been avoided, so the more awareness you have around it the more people that can help,” said Demitrius Smith a McDonogh student.

The other half of the University of Maryland Football Team was at a middle school in Washington D.C. holding the same camp.

To learn more about the Jordan McNair Foundation click here.