Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis makes a second-quarter reception during the Redskins’ 21-16 preseason win over the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, on Aug. 26, 2016. (John E. De Freitas/The Washington Informer)

The importance of a male figure in the lives of young men and women cannot be overstated, as it greatly affects their outlook on life.


Washington Redskins tight end and D.C. native Vernon Davis takes such responsibility seriously, partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and high-end men’s dress shoe company Mezlan to promote the importance of fatherhood, mentorship and giving back.

In honor of the message of mentorship, now through Aug. 31, Mezlan will donate 20 percent of proceeds to BGCGW when purchasers shop online on their website or in the store using the promo code VD85.

Davis stressed the significance of someone of his stature contributing to youth in his hometown.

“The problem with this world now is people don’t have the mentorship that they need,” Davis said. “I try to use my platform of being a professional football player to empower children with power and knowledge that I’ve experienced over the years.”

Davis expressed gratitude for being labeled as a positive influence.

“As young men, they need to know what it means to be a mentor because as they receive mentorship now they will be able to do so later,” he said. “Also, to be a father, so by instilling these values in them now they will prosper later.”

Gabrielle Webster, president, and CEO of BGCGWdiscussed the impact of having someone who’s a D.C native and accomplished as Davis contributing to local youth.

“The kids see themselves in Vernon, someone who grew up in this community, went to college here and now playing professionally in D.C,” Webster said.

Webster addressed the current situation of Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the region and whether there’s a declining support for them.

“We just need to share the message of the great work we’re doing through higher proactivity,” Webster said. “We support about 1,250 kids per day in 12 clubs in the greater Washington area, providing an atmosphere filled with learning, mentorship, and good character.”

Jeffrey Steinhardt, Mezlan director of retail marketing, detailed the decision to partner with Davis and his relation to the brand.

“It came to my attention that Vernon has been a fan of Mezlan since being drafted in the 2006 draft,” Steinhardt said. “After several years, we decided to ascend to the next level by working together to give back and be mentors to the youth.”