Race in America: A Georgia football family shares its unique view on that topic

John Woods-Georgia football-Dominick Blaylock
John Woods shared his unique family story and his views on racial issues with DawgNation.

We are in times where the content of what any person has to say now gets pre-judged. It is not just what they have to say, but who is sharing that message.

Why are they saying it? Should they? It somehow interferes with the comprehension of the message itself.

There is a national conversation now taking place about race. It has led our thoughts to many issues, including law enforcement tactics and profiling. That is much-needed dialogue on an important level, but the father of a talented Georgia receiver also shared his concern this week about limited future career opportunities for promising young black professionals in America.

Does it help to share the perspective of the families of the young black athletes on the football team at UGA? The hope expressed here is that it can only help.

It is past time for all of us to listen closely to what they have to say.

The first of those stories comes from John Woods. Woods has a connection to the issues affecting our country. That’s evident by the family photo displayed above.

That’s Woods with his four sons. He classifies three of them as black or African-American. He used those terms interchangeably in a wide-ranging discussion this week on what it has been like to raise them.

The second-youngest of his sons, Dominick Blaylock, was one of the most impressive freshmen on the Georgia football team last season. He was an All-American recruit who arrived with much fanfare. Blaylock quickly delivered upon it.

Woods has spent his career in the wealth management industry and is a co-owner of Double-A minor league baseball franchise. His Twitter bio will also lists his title as the the CEO of Southport Capital and chairman of the Walton High School football booster club.

His family life adds to the conversation going across America today. His views are not shaped by rhetoric, but by his personal life experiences.

“The one good thing that is beginning to come out of this in this country is that people are beginning to have a conversation about race and injustice in America,” Woods said this week. “It is very good that we are now beginning to really have that conversation.”

John Woods, far left, poses with his wife and four sons in this courtesy photo shared with DawgNation. (John Woods/Special to DawgNation)

Race in DawgNation: Diversity for the Woods family

Do the views of a man who moved his black and white sons from an Atlanta private school matter? What about a man who also left his country club because he also didn’t find enough diversity there?

Woods also took that step. He felt that was necessary when he married his wife, Janelle, 18 years ago. She had three sons from her previous marriage to Oklahoma All-American and former NBA player Mookie Blaylock. 

Woods has been a dad to those three sons in every way imaginable she wanted him to be. They had their own son, too. That is Ashton Woods. 

John and Janelle moved all of their sons to Walton school district. What did the other members of his community think about that? Woods shared a forthright description of that which came about while he was out to dinner one night.  

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, that’s John Woods. That’s the guy who brings all the African-American kids to Walton.’”

Woods wants to see more opportunities for black youth in America. That starts with their educational profile. He’s not worried about parents who might see their son lose a starting position. 

He quotes a line that he has heard from others about the Walton football team. 

“How come all these white people don’t think all these African-Americans should have the same opportunities to use football to get a great education at Walton?” he said. “It is one of the great academic high schools in the state.”

He believes every word. It goes back to his career in the wealth management sector before his current post at Southport Capital. 

“We had 39 advisors,” he said. “I worked there 30 years. I think in all my years there we had one African-American advisor.”

“It is crazy.”

He used that “it is crazy” line eight different times along a single conversation held earlier this week. 

Flashback to 2011: The first SEC athletes in the family 

Woods also saw his older twin sons star at Walton. Daron and Zach were also both scholarship football signees with Kentucky. 

He shares a story of racial profiling that affected one of his sons. It occurred while on a traffic stop. 

NextGeorgia football ‘No-Name’ defense narrative continues, Bulldogs …
Leave a Comment