CBS Sports

Retired U.S. men's national team midfielder Jermaine Jones said he was always an advocate for his teammates during his playing days -- even when it came to making sure they were enjoying a good breakfast.

On the latest episode of Kickin' It, CBS Sports Golazo Network's interview series, Jones recounted a story during his days at MLS' New England Revolution about having special access to the breakfast set-up for the NFL's New England Patriots. Jones realized he was the only one of his teammates who had the privileges and offered to change things.

"If I step into the room, I fight always for the weakest because I was one of the weakest," he said. "I was allowed to go to the Patriots and get breakfast, where they had a chef and everything, but then my team is sitting there, they have the Kellogg's [cereal] … I came back from the Patriots, I had food and then I saw Charlie [Davies], he sits with the mini box from Kellogg's."

Jones said he offered to pay for the upgraded breakfast if the club, which shares an ownership group with the Patriots, were not willing to.

"I stepped and said, 'I'll pay [for] the food if you guys don't give them breakfast,'" Jones recalled. "'I will pay [for] the breakfast for the team.'"

He joined the Revolution shortly after being a fixture for the USMNT at the 2014 World Cup and was signed to a designated player contract, and Jones admitted he did not want to create a divide between himself and his teammates if he had access to resources they did not. The story showcased another side of Jones, who has had the bad boy label follow him throughout his playing career. That includes the early days of his career in Germany, where he was born and raised."

"It was fair from the people, how they saw me, because I gave them that, right?" he said. "I grew up [in] what everybody would call 'ghetto' in Germany and all that stuff and I was one of the kids with the first tattoos and I was this new generation [that] nobody knew, even in Germany."

Kickin' It is available for free on the Audacy app as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever else you listen to podcasts. 

Jones said he and other footballers like Kevin-Prince and Jerome Boateng were labeled as gang members in Germany, but that he ended up embracing the tag.

"For us, it was good because we had a whole community behind us and everybody supported us," he said, "So for me, it was easy to be like, 'You guys want the bad boy? I give you guys the bad boy.'"

Jones discusses a wide range of topics, including the lack of appreciation he feels in the American soccer community as someone born outside of the U.S. and his move into coaching, on the latest episode of Kickin' It, which will air Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Golazo Network.