Former MLB Player & Founder of E3
Disclaimer: Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative awareness and education organization. While our guest on this episode discusses religion, Fight the New Drug is not religiously-affiliated.
If you’re a baseball fan, chances are you’ve heard of Adam LaRoche. Before the end of his 12-season career in Major League Baseball (MLB), Adam went on a human trafficking sting operation with a non-profit to fight sex trafficking. After being exposed to the ugly underbelly of the sex trafficking industry, Adam decided to make it his life’s mission to fight sexual exploitation. Since his retirement from the MLB, Adam has formed a nonprofit, E3, that in part helps to fight sexual exploitation. He also went on to become a deputy through the Police Academy which allows him to help law enforcement agencies that do counter trafficking work. Listen to Adam LaRoche open up to podcast host Garrett Jonsson about his personal experience with consuming porn and, realizing that it contributes to the demand for sex trafficking, how he’s been able to overcome it. Note: This conversation was recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FROM THIS EPISODE
- Follow Adam on Instagram
- Watch our documentary series, “Brain, Heart, World”
- Article: Want to Help Fight Child Sex Trafficking? Know These 9 Acronyms And 5 Facts
- Article: 8 Popular Conspiracy Theories About Sex Trafficking, Debunked
- Article: Why Fighting Sex Trafficking Needs To Include Fighting Porn
- Video: Adam LaRoche Chooses Family Over Baseball
- Check out E3 Meat Co.
Fight the New Drug Ad: Hey listeners, you’re invited to the club Fighter Club. That is, if you’re looking for a way to become a more active part of this movement, consider joining Fighter Club for as little as $10 a month, you can create a real impact by supporting our efforts to educate and raise awareness on the harms of porn. Plus by joining, you can get insider info, 30% off all fight the new drugs conversation, starting gear access to our secret store and an exclusive Fighter Club kit sent to you. When you sign up join Fighter Club today at ftnd.org/FC that’s ftnd.org/FC. See you in the Club.
Garrett: My name is Garrett Jonsson, and you’re listening to Consider Before Consuming a podcast by Fight the New Drug. And in case you’re new here Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on it’s harmful effects, using only science facts and personal accounts.
We want these conversations to be educational, uplifting, and hopeful. As we sit down with experts, influencers, activists, and people with personal accounts, we cover a wide variety of topics that may be triggering to some, you can refer to the episode notes for a specific trigger warning listener discretion is advised.
Today’s episode is with Adam Laroche. He’s a former professional baseball player who played 12 seasons in the MLB. He had a very positive impact on the field, but it could be argued that his impact off the field is even more significant. One of the cool things that he’s done since his retirement is form a nonprofit that helps fight sexual exploitation. With that being said, let’s just jump into the conversation. We hope you enjoy this episode of Consider Before Consuming.
Garrett: Welcome to the podcast, Adam LaRoche. Adam, welcome man.
Adam LaRoche: Thanks buddy.
Garrett: Thank you. We appreciate it. Um, it’s kind of a cool opportunity for us to come and sit with you for a little bit and talk about, talk about life and talk about what you’re up to and talk about the harmful effects of pornography and how it relates to sex trafficking. So we’re excited to be here today and, uh,
It’s very possible that some of our audience doesn’t, they don’t know who Adam LaRoche.
Adam LaRoche: [laughter] Yeah, it’s very likely.
Garrett: Yeah. Very, very probable, right? Um, if you’re a baseball fan then, yeah. You’ve uh, you’ve heard of Adam LaRoche. Adam grew up in Kansas.
Adam LaRoche: I did.
Garrett: and uh, you came out of high school in 98?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: Drafted in what year?
Adam LaRoche: 2000 by Atlanta. So I went and played a couple years of junior college baseball and then signed with the Braves, um, came up with Atlanta, with them for six years and then, um, bounced around for the next 10 or 12 years. Um, got to spend some time in Pittsburgh with the pirates. And then my longest stint was in Washington DC with the national. So I was there four years and then finished up with Chicago in, uh, in 16.
Garrett: That’s cool. And the way you finished up was pretty cool, pretty unique way to finish up, to wrap up your career. Right?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: It got some attention.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, it’s funny cause I’m not, I’m not that I don’t do well with attention, but I just, I’ve never really seeked it. And I kind of had it in my mind that when I retire one day, I want to literally just kind of banish and nobody even know that it happened. Um, this couldn’t have been more opposite…
Adam LaRoche: … the way I kind of had envisioned leaving baseball, but now man, three years later it’s been so cool that there’s, I just haven’t had any regrets. Like it was, it was pretty clear to me, um, that it was time to leave, to get more into some of the other work that we can get into later. But, uh, I still was wondering, you know, “Will I miss this?”
Garrett: Of course.
Adam LaRoche: And as the first kind of other, the next season comes around and the guys are getting ready for spring training, I just haven’t missed it at all.
Garrett: Oh, you haven’t? That’s surprising.
Adam LaRoche: Not at all. So it’s been cool. Cause it just kind of confirmed that, you know, it was time to time to go do something different.
Garrett: Yeah. Well, for our listeners we’ll link to this episode, the interview that you did with… was it ABC?
Adam LaRoche: Um… Fox.
Garrett: Was it Fox? Okay. It’s a pretty cool interview with you and your boy Drake because yeah, we’ll just link it so you guys can watch, but basically long story short is that you walked out and, uh, the reason was because you wanted to spend time with family, basically what it come down to. Right?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah. So, so Drake had been with me, um, he had been part of the team for like the previous three years, almost like an employee of the team at his own locker. And he, he traveled on team flights and he was, it was just, it was unbelievable to be able to go to work every day with my son.
Garrett: Yeah, that’s pretty unique, that’s pretty cool.
Adam LaRoche: You know, and he’s there shagging batting practice and running errands for guys or washing cars, you know, whatever guys needed.
Adam LaRoche: Um, and then to be able to ride home with him after the game and just talk baseball. And so, um, but when, when my team then had a, at a policy change with, um, the age restrictions of your kids being in the clubhouse, that was where it was pretty easy decision to say, “Alright, well, I’m just going to take it, take it to the ranch and call it a career.”
And uh, so no regrets there, you know, the other side of that, and I’ve, I’ve talked about it a little bit, not a lot. Um, as far as how this ties into me quitting baseball, but the year before or that off season before I had gone to I’m sorry, in 2015, I had gone to Thailand. Um, and that was my first introduction to the world of sex trafficking. And it really messed me up. I mean really messed me up when I got back. And I think my wife would tell you, like I was, I was pretty shook up for a few days and I went on about a month there and just flew around and met with as many people as I could around the country on, on counter sex trafficking. And to try to, uh, just get educated on this, this awful crime that happens in other countries.
And then as I’m learning all this, I start to realize, you know, it’s in the States and I’m seeing how big of an epidemic it is, but that was also weighing on me going into that spring training of, you know, am I really going to go out here and play a game, which I love and I love the platform it gave me, I love the guys. I met plan. Um, the money’s obviously ridiculous. We are way overpaid for going out and playing a game. Um, but I didn’t know if I wanted to do that or if I could do that with what I just seen, you know, that off season that was going on in the real world.
Garrett: It left that much of an impact?
Adam LaRoche: It did. So right after that, then the thing with my son. So then it was just getting the confirmation. “Okay.”
Garrett: For me when I hear you explain that it it’s powerful, but then to know what you walked away from money-wise is it brings another level to that, that power.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: Because I think the logical decision would’ve been to just finish out your six months, right. Wasn’t it, six months.
Adam LaRoche: Um, yeah it would’ve been…
Garrett: Or how much was it?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, seven months.
Garrett: So it’s like finish out your six months and walk away with your paycheck.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: But it was just time?
Adam LaRoche: It was, and, and that was, that was another thing I thought I might regret, like, man, that’s a lot of money.
Garrett: $13 million, right?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah. Yeah.
Garrett: Left on the table.
Adam LaRoche: And so, and, and it’s almost an, honestly, it’s hard to even talk about because, uh, I know it’s probably a lot of people listening to this that, you know, $1,300 might be a life-changer for them.
Adam LaRoche: So I get it. It’s just an obscene amount of money and I’d be lying if I said, if that happened early in my career, before I had made money, that it would have been the same decision.
Garrett: Right. You were in a…
Adam LaRoche: I can almost guarantee you, it wouldn’t have been the same position. I would have said, “Man. I’m yeah. I love being with my son, but…” I’m just guessing if I could look back at a younger me, it would have been, “Man, I love you, but we’re going after this money, we’re going to, we’re going to set up this…”,
Adam LaRoche: Whatever college and retirement and I, but I know from experience that it just doesn’t, it doesn’t satisfy you. Like I’ve not only my own life, but I’ve seen it in a lot of teammates lives that if you chase that money in you’re in, you’re waiting to get to the end where it’s like “you win” and the ultimate freedom and peace, and it’s never there and you will chase it. You’ll chase it on up to 10 million to a hundred million to it’ll never be enough. Um, so I have experienced that enough, that I knew that this isn’t the thing, this isn’t going to be…
Garrett: To say that it’s one thing, to do that is another thing. So that’s pretty cool. Um, going back to your experience in Thailand, it left an imprint that kind of… it influenced that decision to leave baseball was part of that decision. You said.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: What was it about that trip that left that imprint?
Adam LaRoche: Well, man, it is now, I don’t know, three, three or four years later. Um, it is totally changed the whole trajectory of where I saw my post baseball life going. Um, I don’t know what it was over there other than, well, I guess I do. It was really cool to see one on a, on a spiritual side to see God’s light shine in, in like one of the darkest places in the world, because going over there, my fear for two months, literally my fear in going over there, I, I knew that we were going to be working undercover and brothels every night. Um, and I was afraid that I was going to go in there to these brothels, basically strip clubs. And as a man, I know where my mind goes when I see naked women or where it can go. And so honestly my biggest fear was I’m going to go over there and see these girls and like go off mission and get distracted.
Garrett: So you were aware of that, the fact that you were aware of that is a good thing.
Adam: And I was afraid of that. Um, because from experience, I know where my mind can go as a man. That’s just right. Um, so I prayed about that a lot. Not even pay attention to the body as much as like what’s going on in the, in the awful stuff. That’s going on to these girls over there that we actually witnessed. Some of it it’s just, it’s brutal. Um, and sure enough, I believe a broth on would go in like 10, or 12, or 15 a night. And I’d leave that. And I couldn’t tell you if they were, if the girls were naked, if they were in bikini, like it was really cool to all I remembered was like shoulders up. I remember faces. It, I was confident after that, that this is something, this is a fight that God wants me in, or I don’t think I would have had that experience. I think I would have been again going in and out of what, what my job was there. So…
Garrett: Yeah, that’s a unique experience.
Adam LaRoche: It was. It was, it was, it was terrible and awesome. You know, as you can imagine, all, all at once.
Garrett: After leaving Thailand, how long until you went back to another, on another mission?
Adam LaRoche: It wasn’t long after that I got introduced to IJM, which is out of Washington, DC. Um, and I was playing there. I was playing there at the time. I was just finishing my career in DC. So I got to know them. Uh, and then just over the last three years, just to a handful of awesome organizations that I get to travel with and kind of attached to and go and go help out. So…
Garrett: The original trip to Thailand, why did that occur? Why did that happen?
Adam LaRoche: Um, sparked that in front of mine and, and kinda my partner in this fight, uh, Blaine Boyer who just retired. He was a pitcher I’m retired the last, last year. Yeah. Last year from the Royals. Um, he introduced me to a guy that, that ran an organization over there and he was a former youth pastor and went to Thailand for something else and ended up seeing this issue and came home and packed up. His family moved to Thailand and he had been fighting it ever since. So I got, yeah, I got hooked up with him through Blaine, uh, in spring training one year spent a little time and he’s like, you know what? “You guys just need to come out and check it to see.” And, uh, and so we did that as soon as that season was over, we went out and, and, um, got to be a part of it.
Garrett: So the name of our podcast is Consider Before Consuming and the whole purpose. Well, by the way, I want to state kind of the mission statement of Fight the New Drug. Fight the New Drug is a, it’s a non-religious non legislative, nonprofit that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an, uh, an informed decision regarding pornography and sexual exploitation. And the way that we build awareness is using science facts and personal accounts. So I think some our of our audience might be questioning like, “Well, why are we talking to Adam? Because he’s talking about sex trafficking.” And oftentimes in the world, there’s a misconception that there are two different industries, you know, the sex trafficking industry and the pornographic industry, and they’re completely separate.
Adam LaRoche: Right.
Garrett: Can you talk to that a little bit in your mind? Are they completely separate?
Adam LaRoche: No. But man, I I’m, I’m right there. I was right there with the rest of the world and never had those two linked together. Um, and I don’t know if it’s because we don’t want to, when we’re watching whatever we’re watching like our mind, if we just don’t want to let that in that this, she could possibly be, this could be against her will. And you know, if that lens were to zoom back a little bit, you know, what would we see around? We don’t want to, what do I visualize that?
Adam LaRoche: Um, so I don’t know if it’s a justification thing on our end or if we just never put two and two together, but as I got into traffic.
Garrett: I think it’s more the latter. I think it’s more lack of awareness.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, just not aware. And you’re probably right. And, um, man, I don’t, I don’t know how to stress it enough. How, how connected and linked they are. Um, and I’m not, I’m not a big facts and stats guy, so I can’t rap off, you know, studies from the last few years, but I can tell you that with, uh, there’s been more than one victim that I’ve worked with, it was introduced to, to the trafficking world through pornography. And it may be something as simple as…
Garrett: In what way? What do you mean by introduced?
Adam LaRoche: Um, I’m trying to think how to do this without using names or locations. Cause there’s actually, there’s a girl that I’m working with right now in an, in an active case, uh, in the Midwest that as I’m, as I’m interviewing her and it was about, uh, the initial one was, but my partner actually did it initially with her. It was about an eight hour interview. Just kind of getting her life story. Um, the place she was being trafficked, she was 14 and the place she was getting, being trafficked out of, she remembers one time and she was in the basement with some other girls and she, she remembers one time going up to the third floor of this house in a, in a decent neighborhood that nobody, you would never suspect that this is going on. And somehow she got up to the third floor, of course they’ve got drugs in all of them. And she remembers seeing another younger girl that she had seen in the, at the basement level, um, in a studio upstairs, the third floor of this house. And it was evident as soon as she walked in and that this is where they filmed porn. So not only are they linked like financially or, I mean, they, these were linked in the same house.
They were trafficking girls out in the basement. Men can come in and taking these same girls. And, uh, however they would choose how to do that would, would take them to the third floor and, and continue to make money off of them. So that, that may be the best example I can give of… I don’t, I don’t really need the facts or the stats or the Google search to know that, I mean, that just happened not too long ago and could very well be the porn that we may watch that looks completely innocent.
Adam LaRoche: And…she wants to be there. And….
Garrett: How many times have you gone out now on, on these types of…
Adam LaRoche: Man, quite a few, I’ve actually went to, um, I guess two years ago, I went to Police Academy to become a Deputy, um, with the Sheriff’s department, which is, it’s been awesome. And, uh, I love the team we got there in Bourbon County where I’m at and love those guys and working with them, it’s been great and I get to, you know, kind of help out there locally, but I also, it’s also really helpful. Um, when I travel now to be go to, to be able to go attach with other task-force law enforcement agencies that do counter trafficking, um, now to be able to do that as law enforcement just makes it legally, it makes it a lot easier. Um,…
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: … one of the parts there though is now I’m kind of in the middle cause I do… we have a foundation, um, I get to work with some other foundations and now I’m almost like the liaison between law enforcement and these non profits that do awesome work.
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: Uh, cause a lot of times there’s a disconnect there and for good reason, um, more law enforcement just really doesn’t trust that, “Hey, we’re going to bring in a bunch of civilians here and…”, you know, they think of all the things that could go wrong. So I get to go in on kind of behalf of both, um, and help make those introductions to just kind of empower the different departments and up their capabilities and the amount of cases and, and work they can do. So…
Garrett: That’s cool. What’s the name of your organization?
Adam LaRoche: Ours is just E3 Foundation.
Garrett: E3, that’s right.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, we got the E3 ranch and then our… man, that’s been a whole nother business side is a whole nother thing. That is not my speed at all. Um, so I’ve been kind of, we’ve been slowly hiring. It’s been really cool to watch those businesses take off. We’ve got a meat company, so we sell all natural beef and then we’ve got a couple of restaurants and some other things. Um, but what I love about them and I want them to just kill it is because that’s what supports our foundation.
So with the, got a restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and then one that’s just getting stood up. It’ll probably be open in a month in Nashville, The E3 Chop House, and we’re just taking 10% of everything and putting it into the foundation, um, across support for all things E3. So that’s my motivation for those to do really well is because the more money my teams make over there, the more I get to, you know, go help out on the more good on the foundation side. So I’ve been pretty proud of that.
Garrett: I should probably know more about E3. How old is E3?
Adam LaRoche: Oh man, our ranches probably we’ve been out there for 15 years, maybe. Something like that, we’ve lived out there.
Garrett: What’s the mission statement of E3? Or the sole purpose?
Adam LaRoche: Uh, or like, well, it’s funny we keep, we kept it broad it’s it’s the actual mission statement is just Serving those in need, but intentionally kept it broad. So that as, uh, as, as needs arise…
Garrett: You can adapt.
Adam Laroche: Really anything fits that kind of generic mission statement. Right?
Adam LaRoche: Our, our focus is right now and have been since the start of it. Um, I’ve been the, obviously the fight against sex trafficking and then we host combat warriors. So we host soldiers, guys that just need a break.
Adam LaRoche: Um, out to the ranch on hunting trips or fishing trips, or we’ll do shooting competition. We just bring guys out and, uh, kind of as a way to thank them, just kind of hand them the keys to the ranch and say, “Man, how can we serve you?”
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: This is the coolest group of community of people I’ve ever been around. And over the years I’ve got to meet… it’s just been awesome to be able to like, and it’s cool because a lot of these guys are highly, highly gifted in counter-terrorism and incredible Intel and cyber guys. And so guys have come on to the counter trafficking side and now they’re using their skills that the military paid for.
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam Laroche: And then they trained for years and it’s a real similar methodology with fighting terrorism and, and drug and weapons trade as it is the trade of human beings. So they can take kind of their same… and just … I mean, it just transfers right over to hunting traffickers. Um, and it’s just not people just don’t know. And I wouldn’t either. You don’t, I don’t see it. It’s a, it’s a whole nother underworld, um, which is what we need to get into, which is, it goes right along with porn.
Adam LaRoche: On this kind of hidden, embarrassing thing that “I don’t want to talk about.”
Garrett: For sure.
Adam LaRoche: “It’s something I, I, I do it doesn’t harm anybody. It doesn’t harm me.” And as you, you know, way more than I do. Uh,…
Garrett: Are you speaking generally or for you personally?
Adam LaRoche: I’m talking about pornography. No, generally for, for pornography and we’ll just dive into it. I, I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you the first time I was introduced to it. I remember I was such an idiot as a kid. I remember being in school and I was, I think I was, I think it was an eighth grade and I had a, I had a Sports Illustrated magazine and I removed the, the middle of it, and I put a Playboy in it and I was dumb enough to open it up in class and not keep an eye on my teacher. And I turned around and he’s right over my shoulder. And you were with me just an hour ago, I asked my son outside Drake, um, you know, when the first time he saw a picture and he said he had a buddy show him a picture on his phone when he was… how old did he say he was?
Garrett: I think he said “14.”
Adam LaRoche: 14, right? Um, I can tell you in, in my former profession, major league baseball, it is, it’s just an epidemic, which I think is probably staying probably across the board in every line of work. Um, the difference is, and really looking back, one of the cool things is it’s not… it’s talked about maybe not in the best way, but typically in a clubhouse, you, you, you say everything.
Adam LaRoche: So it wasn’t as much this hidden thing. Um, for some guys, I should say that, uh, but I just know, especially now the older I get, I know how damaging it is. And I know the struggle it has been is, and maybe always will be because that I, because I was introduced to it, that it has been for me.
Adam LaRoche: Um, and now it’s pretty awesome because of the work I do on the counter trafficking side to see kind of behind the curtain of a lot of this, um, obviously helps in making it much less attractive.
Adam LaRoche: Um, still tempting, don’t get me wrong.
Garrett: That’s really the, the goal of the podcast, because like you’re saying, that’s one thing that you consider as the, the desire to look at pornography arises. That’s one thing that you consider. So that’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: Um, going back to the clubhouse, because we recently talked to another professional athlete and he said that in the clubhouse, in a team environment, yeah. He would talk about pornography, but he talked about how he wouldn’t talk about that outside of his, out of the outside of the team environment. He wouldn’t talk about it.
Adam LaRoche: Right.
Garrett: Is that, was that kind of the case for you?
Adam LaRoche: Uh, I would say that’s very accurate. Um, there, I would never talk about it in the clubhouse, um, right or wrong. I was never comfortable talking about it. Um, from what I saw in the guys that I love and will be lifelong friends with a lot of them that had no shame in it. I almost almost appreciate them, not, um, feeling like they needed to hide that. And regardless of what term, how they were talking about it, just the fact that it wasn’t this hidden thing for them. Um,…
Garrett: It takes…
Adam LaRoche: I think that’s a good start to maybe to maybe start the process of kicking it. Um, like, like, uh, like a drug addict or an alcoholic that will never tell anybody.
Adam LaRoche: Um, regardless if they’re talking about how awesome their, their high was last, I think just the fact that you’re talking about it with somebody and you’re opening up the discussion can then lead to maybe, you know, if you and I are sitting here and we’re talking about our, our porn problem and you get the courage to bring it up, I then raised my hand and say, “Man, me too.”, it, it may start us going down the path of, “Hey, why don’t we tackle this together?”
Adam LaRoche: Like, “Let’s hold each other accountable. Let’s, let’s start something.” You see what I’m saying?
Garrett: That honesty is powerful. No matter how it’s presented.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah. Yep. And I remember my rookie year, and I’ll say, I’ll say his name. Cause I know he wouldn’t mind that a good friend of mine, John Smoltz, who was a pitcher with Atlanta, I always looked up to instill do I love him? And we always looked at him as being like “This guy’s got it figured out and probably doesn’t struggle with anything.” Um, and I remember him saying, he goes, “Man, when I first get to the hotel.”, cause we’re traveling all over the country and we’re in different hotel rooms. “The first thing I gotta do is unplug the TV and call down and have the movies disconnect.” Now I’m dating myself because most people are probably listening “Like, why do you need the TV and movies?”
Adam LaRoche: But this is back when it was like pay-per-view, but he would do it every time. And I think he would get on the phone with his wife and she would like, “Hey, did you get…” whatever, “Did you make the call down?”
Garrett: Just a little bit of accountability.
Adam LaRoche: Absolutely. And so, but when we, it was cool. Cause when we heard that, we’re like, “Okay, we’re not the only ones struggling.” Like “If this dude, then…”, uh, it was it, I don’t know how to explain it other than it was awesome to hear him open up, um, and, and be totally open to helping us kind of walk through it too. So yeah, it’s pretty cool.
Garrett: I don’t know if you know, but actually looking at the back history in my mind, you probably know that we’ve met with the Kansas City Royals?
Adam LaRoche: Oh yeah. That was, I was, I got to be up there and part of some of that with that with Doug.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, yeah. Really cool. Dayton Moore, there is a good friend of mine, so Dayton and I came up together with the Braves, uh, Dayton Moore is the General Manager for the Royals and a huge advocate for Fight the New Drug. Um, and just welcomes you guys into that stadium and really into that clubhouse, anytime to, to speak to those players. Um, Blaine Boyer, the guy I mentioned earlier that kinda got me introduced to the, to the world of counter trafficking and, and still is, uh, does a lot of work with me in that area, spoke to the minor league team on behalf of Fight the New Drug, uh, a couple years ago, when you guys kind of first started the relationship with Kansas City, he was playing with the Royals and he got to go speak to a couple of hundred guys about porn, which was really cool them hearing it from a major leaguer coming down and talking to them about his own struggles. So yes, I am familiar with the that, with that partnership.
Garrett: That’s cool. One of my favorite quotes from Dayton is “What you fail to confront you condone.” And I love that quote from Dayton. Dayton is such a good guy.
Adam LaRoche: He’s a wise man. Yeah. He’s, he’s one of my favorites.
Garrett: And another one of my favorite quotes is that because I read this book years ago when I was playing sports and it was called Mind Gym. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that book, but one of my favorite quotes that I’ve never forgotten from that book was that “The game is won or lost on the six inch playing field between the ears.” Just like how important the mental state is.
Adam LaRoche: Oh, no doubt, no doubt.
Garrett: Especially baseball, right?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: Because baseball is a game of failure.
Adam LaRoche: We could spend a whole nother series of podcasts talking about the mental side of sports and baseball. Um, but I would agree with that.
Garrett: Have you seen over the course of, I mean you were drafted in early two thousands, you ended mid 2015?
Adam LaRoche: 16.
Garrett: 2016. Have you seen a healthy change in regards to how professional baseball is addressing mental health challenges?
Adam LaRoche: Yeah, a lot, you know, I came up right towards the end of the, of the kind of famous steroid era. And I think the thought back then was, uh, just kind of ignore it. Um, not just with steroids, just in general. It was “Hey, if the guys are performing, let’s ignore it. Let’s not… we don’t need the drug testing. We don’t need to keep an eye on them on what they’re doing off the field or in the locker room.” Like “We just want to win.” Uh, so I’ve seen a huge change there from nutrition and therapists up to kind of after baseball and retirement options and plans for guys to phase them into different careers. And so, yeah, I think they’re putting a lot more emphasis on the overall health of guys and their families and not just winning a ball game.
Garrett: Yeah. Have you noticed that in regards to like healthy masculinity? Cause I think one thing about athletes is that it’s challenging… well just for humans in general, it’s challenging for us to be vulnerable, but then it seems like athletes,… this, this requirement to always be tough, to never open up, to never show weakness. Do you think that…
Adam LaRoche: I, I think that’s a man thing.
Adam LaRoche: Um, no doubt in sports because you’re, you’re, it’s full, full of a bunch of alpha males that can figure out any problem, right? In our mind. And we can do it by herself and “I don’t need your help.”, uh, type mentality. And so I’m man, my memory is crap, but I’m sure looking back, that was probably me. Uh, I think now I’m almost 40 and I have no hesitation, you know, to ask for, for some guidance or assistance. But yeah, I think, uh, I would, I wouldn’t even sports. I just think men in general, it’s just more in our country that we feel like whatever the problem is, “I can handle this on my own.” Um, and then you get the kind of the shame and the embarrassment factor in there. And you mentioned vulnerability, you know, we’re not, we’re not supposed to be weak.
I’m not supposed to show weakness to my wife or my kids. I’m supposed to be the rock, and this guy that’s got all the answers. And one of the coolest things I ever did and the hardest thing I ever did was to come home from a road trip one time. And this was probably in man, I don’t know, 2010 or 11, somewhere in there, 12 maybe and come home and tell my wife, uh, just apologize to her and like, and ask for forgiveness that, “Hey, I looked at something on the road and I shouldn’t have, and I just want…”, I just, I, it was kind of inviting her in to, to ask you this problem. And I had no idea how she would take it. Um, I thought, “Man, this is going to go one of multiple directions.” Most of them weren’t good in my mind. You know how I thought Jen would respond. And of course she was, she was awesome with it. And in a way I think it was a relief because I’m not so sure that every wife doesn’t wonder is if they don’t struggle with it themselves is, excuse me [clears throat]. Do you want me to start that over?
Garrett: Either way.
Adam LaRoche: I didn’t know how you can cut all this.
But there’s my ADD, squirrel moment kicking in. Where was I?
Garrett: Oh, no problem. You were just saying that you were wondering if some of their wives don’t wonder…
Adam LaRoche: Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t want to, I wonder if, if other wives don’t, don’t wonder if, uh, if this is something their husbands struggled with. So I think it’s this almost relief in a lot of ways that, that now they know, and not only do they know you’re respecting them enough to say, “I want you involved in this. I want you to hold me a…” and they may go through it maybe a week where they’ll be pissed at you.
Garrett: Everyone is going to react differently.
Adam LaRoche: You might get mother f’d up one side and down the other. But I’m telling you, and I tell guys this all the time is gonna be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Your wife will absolutely appreciate it. That was really cool to invite her in on it and say, “Hey, um, I want you to hold me accountable too.” Um… if you’re coming to your wife with kind of an open heart, you’re saying, “I, I want to make this work.” And obviously it depends on how you present it. And a ton of other factors that, you know, there’s a million different ways this can affect it. But…
Garrett: I had to…
Adam LaRoche: For guys that are that wonder if they should like, “I have an awesome marriage, but it’s just one thing.”, this hangup that they do in their own quiet time and “It’s not affecting anybody.” Uh, one, I would highly recommend watching y’all’s this documentary, what’s the name of it?
Garrett: Brain, Heart, World.
Adam LaRoche: Brain, Heart, World. Which is so cool. Just to see, um, to see facts on what it does, what it does to your heart, what it does to your mind, what it does to your relationship with your kids or wife, friends, work ethic. It’s crazy, right?
Garrett: Yeah, for sure.
Adam LaRoche: The crazy effects that in our mind, this little issue we have, that’s “not affecting anybody”, is.
Garrett: I think it’s, it’s the scariest thing to talk to your significant other and talk about this challenge because you don’t know how they’re going to react.
Adam LaRoche: Yeah.
Garrett: Like you said.
Adam LaRoche: No, no, it’s a, it’s a leap of faith there.
Garrett: But honesty, honesty is always going to be a good thing.
Adam LaRoche: You can’t lose, it may hurt.
Adam LaRoche: But you can’t lose. Um, I got to do it with my son to remember a few years ago, maybe three, four years ago, uh, telling Drake, “Hey, I don’t know if this is something you struggle with, but I have, and I want you to hold me accountable too.” And that was a, that was a really hard thing to do to my then probably 13 year old son.
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: And there was two per one I wanted him to know and I wanted him to stay on me. Um, but two, I wanted, I also wanted him to be comfortable that if he did struggle with it, that he would be wide open to come to me.
Garrett: For sure.
Adam LaRoche: Cause that would be the time that he would say, “Yeah, it’s… I’m with you, dad. This is hard.”
Garrett: Dude, you’re building a relationship.
Adam LaRoche: Because I love, I love my, we have an awesome relationship, my dad and I. But he was just, he was in an era where you didn’t talk about that stuff at all, which that same era. And as we do as parents, now we want our kids to be totally transparent with us. And we tell them all the time, like, “You know, you can tell me anything.” Well, we’re not giving them that opportunity if we’re not telling them everything like that. And I mean everything.
Garrett: I like that.
Adam LaRoche: And I’ve told both my kids some embarrassing crap…
Adam LaRoche: And some stupid decisions, and just tried to be wide open with him and I, and what that’s led to is they don’t hesitate to come out and talk to me about anything.
Garrett: That’s cool for them to, to learn from you,
Adam LaRoche: Man. And that is the, I think that’s how we get, what we want is transparency from them is by showing it first. I I’m convinced that with our kids, that if we don’t, if we don’t open up, they’re going to give as much as we give them. Right? If I give him a little, he’s probably going to give me a little bit. If I just open it up to him, he’s way more likely when that issue comes along to come to me and not fight it for a year or a lifetime by himself.
Adam LaRoche: And I hope the same way with my daughter.
Garrett: It’s interesting. Because I think a lot of people who have a challenge with pornography, they don’t want to tell the truth because they’re scared and it’s going to make them a worse mother or a worse father or a worse sibling or whatever. But look at you. You’re, you’re a good example of someone that you’ve shared that, and it’s actually made you a better father.
Adam LaRoche: Oh, I’m convinced. Yeah. And don’t… I got a long way to go. So I don’t sit here telling anybody that I got it figured out. Cause I I’m still, I still do. I’m still an idiot sometimes.
Adam LaRoche: Um, but I’m more open now to tell him yeah. Uh, about, you know, the, the good or bad decision and you know what I should or shouldn’t have done.
Garrett: That’s cool.
You know, on our podcasts, we have to cover some heavy topics for the reality check of things, but it’s very, it’s very cool to see people like you who are, um, doing a lot of good there’s lots of momentum. So keep going at it.
Adam LaRoche: I appreciate you saying that, buddy. I, uh, as cool, coolest baseball was, and I mean, this as awesome as that was playing in front of, you know, 30, 40,000 every night, you know, for a lot of years, um, this has been the most, really the most exciting and rewarding thing I’ve ever done and it’s not in front of a huge audience.
Garrett: That’s cool.
Adam LaRoche: But I feel like it’s, uh…
Garrett: It’s meaningful.
Adam LaRoche: It’s so much more meaningful than playing and going out and playing a game as fun as that was. So yeah, I just, I, I love where I’m at and uh, I hope this, we can put a dent in both issues to issue with porn and sex trafficking.
Adam LaRoche: So stay after it. I appreciate what you guys are doing.
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Garrett: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Consider Before Consuming. Consider Before Consuming is brought to you by Fight the New Drug. Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography, by raising awareness on its harmful facts, using only science facts and personal accounts.
If you want to learn more about today’s guest and the conversation we had, you can check out the links included with this episode.
Again, big, thanks to you for listening to this conversation. As you go about your day, we invite you to increase your self awareness, look both ways, check your blind spots and consider before consider.
MORE RESOURCES FROM FTND
A three-part documentary about porn’s impacts on consumers, relationships, and society.
Fifteen research-based articles detailing porns negatively impacts.
Tees to support the movement and change the conversation wherever you go.
Successfully navigate conversations about porn with your partner, child, or friend.
A database of the ever-growing body of research on the harmful effects of porn.
An interactive site with short videos highlighting porn’s proven negative effects.