Christian McCaffrey Would 'Love' for His Kids to Play Sports If He's 'Fortunate' to Have Them (Exclusive)
The San Fransisco 49er — who proposed to fiancée Olivia Culpo in April — tells PEOPLE, “I just want them to be happy doing whatever they love and do it to the best of their ability"
Athleticism runs in the McCaffrey family.
Christian McCaffrey has the NFL in his blood, and the newly-engaged running back would "love" for the sports lineage to continue if he has kids in the future, he tells PEOPLE exclusively.
“I would love it if my kids played sports,” McCaffrey, 26, — who recently proposed to girlfriend Olivia Culpo, 31, in April — tells PEOPLE exclusively while chatting about his foundation’s latest endeavor, The Logan Project.
“But my parents never pressured us to play sports," McCaffrey recalls.
The San Francisco 49er spawns from a family of athletes. His father, Ed McCaffrey, is a former wide receiver who played in the NFL for thirteen seasons and won three Super Bowl rings during his tenure in the League.
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His mom, Lisa McCaffrey — daughter of Dave Sime, once the fastest man in America and the silver medalist in the 100 meters in the 1960 Olympics — was a successful athlete herself, having set records in track, lettering four times in tennis and receiving Vanderbuiklt’s first-ever women’s soccer scholarship.
Despite the legacy of acclaimed athletes in his family, McCaffrey — who's the younger brother of Max (who had a three-year NFL career) and the older brother of Dylan and Luke (both current college football players) — tells PEOPLE that his parents “just wanted us to do the best we could with whatever it was… whether it was art or music or anything.”
“I think that would be the same thing,” the 2x-Pro Bowler says of what he’d want if he and Culpo are “fortunate enough to have kids” of their own. “I just want them to be happy doing whatever they love and do it to the best of their ability.”
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He adds, “My parents always said that it's not about what you do, it's about how you do it and doing it to the very best of your ability. So hopefully that's the case no matter what it is.”
As for whether McCaffrey, himself, felt pressured to play sports like his father — let alone go pro in football — the current NFL star tells PEOPLE, “There used to be pressure when I was a kid.”
However, he says he “got rid of that quickly.” McCaffrey’s father, Ed, played for the Denver Broncos from 1991 to 2003 — so as the son of the three-time Super Bowl champion and star receiver of the Colorado team, McCaffrey says he “was so fortunate.”
“Both of my parents understood what it meant to have our last name growing up in Denver. And he had won three Super Bowls playing in his heyday,” he says. “So there was definitely pressure as a kid, but I learned to utilize my dad and my mom and all of the wisdom that they have.”
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Therefore, McCaffrey recognizes him as “ the best resource on the planet” because “he’s been through it.” The 49er says his father has “ been cut, he's been traded, he's won Super Bowls, he's gone to a Pro Bowl and he played 13 years at a high level.”
Since “he’s experienced every level of the NFL that you can go through,” the then wide-eyed youngster says he “ended up using him to my advantage as much as possible, instead of having any kind of resentment or feeling that pressure.”
He adds, “I used him as the best resource I could ever imagine right there in my household.”
One of the most memorable pieces of advice Ed instilled in his son? “To play free and be free. Be happy when you play this game, it's the best game in the world, in my opinion… That's really the route that I ended up taking.”
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Read the original article on People.