On Tuesday we brought you news that Thomas Jones would be the keynote speaker at The Soul of Coal luncheon this weekend in West Virginia. Jones spoke with Register-Herald about his deep connections to the coal mining lifestyle.
“Both my parents, as well as my grandparents, worked in the mines,” the newly signed Kansas City Chiefs running back said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “They’d go to the mines, and work the hoot owl (midnight to 8 a.m.) shift. You’d see them come home covered in coal dust. That was life where I came from the whole time I was growing up.”
Jones, 31, is obviously no stranger to the mining industry.
“Certainly, coming from a mining background, I understand it,” Jones said. “Nobody wants their parents working underground, especially your mother. But she looked at it as going to work and we never saw her any differently than anybody else who was out there working. It was their life, and they were sacrificing so that we could have a better life.”
The son of coal mining parents, he saw the blue collar work ethic his mother and father in the mines.
“I guess that work ethic is in my genes,” Jones said. “I keep working on the things my parents taught me. They would sometimes work overtime to have extra money to buy gifts and keep food on the table. So for me to watch extra film, or to workout on a day off, that’s all I know. And that was key for me, as well as my brother.”
As I said the other day, this will not be a “stock” charity speech from Jones. You have to know that he will clearly be speaking from the heart as he helps raise money for the Roosevelt Lynch Memorial fund.
When you hear about the situation he grew up in, it’s not surprising that he has shown up in Kansas City from day one and out worked everyone on the roster.