The Cowboys receiver, during a recent interview with ESPN 600 radio in El Paso, said the hate for “America’s Team” makes him and his teammates work harder.
“The greatest thing about being on the Cowboys [is] people love to hate the Cowboys,” Bryant said. “That makes you work 10 times harder. They put the big target on us or whatever, and speaking for myself, it doesn’t bother me.
“I’m pretty sure it doesn’t bother a lot of guys. They like that kind of pressure. It makes us want to work hard and makes you want to do what you want to do to get to that big game.”
In further comments, published by The Dallas Morning News, Bryant said he has worked hard to become a positive influence.
“It’s always a dream to be a positive figure,” Bryant said. “I know on my end it is. I understand that I have a lot of little kids looking up to me. Of course, I have my little boys. I want them to see me as a positive figure.”
Bryant recently made a bold step in that direction by speaking at a rally against the abuse of women. Bryant himself was accused of striking his mother in an incident last summer and agreed to counseling in a deal with the district attorney’s office.
Since that incident, Bryant hasn’t generated any headlines for bad behavior while his on-field performance improved.
“You have to surround yourself around the right group of guys, and I feel like I’ve done that,” Bryant said. “You always change whenever you want to be different, you want to be positive, you want to make the right choices. You’ve got to put yourself in the position to do all that.”
Bryant will be playing his fourth season with the Cowboys this fall and said the transition from being a rookie was significant. He credited a support team, but did not identify them.
“When I got into the NFL, a lot of things was new to me,” Bryant said. “I needed time, and I feel like I got the time that I needed. I got support. And the guys continue to work with me. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
One of the biggest transitions, Bryant said, was learning to live with ample amounts of money. Bryant has had to resolve a couple of financial grievances from his early days as a professional.
“I know for me, you’re going from zero to a lot,” Bryant said. “I never had that kinds of money. I never had thousands of dollars, so me having that, it was very difficult. I didn’t know what to do with it. I found great help and I got everything under control.
“For the people who will reach that someday, it’s always best to get you a financial advisor, try your best to put yourself on a budget. That’s the best advice I can give you.”