#sportstalk: Loving a team with problematic players

Oh boy, I’ve been dreading actually making a post about this but I knew I had to and what better way to than a #sportstalk? It’s basically just a post where I throw all my feelings out on the table. Even though I’m writing this really early (hi from the past!), this is something that’s been bothering me for a long time.

I’m a huge sports fan. While I don’t blog about it as much, sports are a huge part of my life. One issue I always struggled with was loving my team despite some of the players being…well human garbage. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ve always been and I always will be.

I love my team, but I don’t love everything about them especially their players. While my two favorite players are pretty good guys, the whole team isn’t. Look at Ezekiel Elliott who was accused of domestic violence and is still a member of the team. Whether he’s guilty or not, it’s despicable and something I don’t tolerate. However, it proves more an even bigger point.

NFL front offices don’t care about what you do, who you’re with or how you spend your time as long as you win games. It’s a sad reality and one I have a hard time grasping because it’s so unrealistic. No one accused of what Elliott did would still have a job right now. They would have been unemployed a long time ago and look at Lucky Whitehead.

Whitehead wasn’t even the one in the video, but he was released. He was quick to point the finger at the Cowboys as he rightfully should. He wasn’t necessarily helping the team win so they got rid of him. It’s an easy concept to grasp and something I noticed in 2015, too. Even with such a horrible record, the Cowboys still kept Greg Hardy.

One player I absolutely detested was Greg Hardy. Every time I think about him, my stomach turns and I feel sick. He’s such a horrible person and deserves to be far away from the league and people in general. He not only denied any wrongdoing but also believes the survivor injured herself. It’s sickening but it proves how far a team will go to win.

While there’s a lot of blame at the feet of the NFL front offices, I blame both the NCAA and the players themselves. The recent scandals at Ole Miss and Baylor are all the proof you need to hear. College athletes are given whatever and whoever they want to do whatever they want with. Meanwhile, coaches and other staff will cover it up as long as they win games. Starting it off early only furthers the problem.

The players are to blame as well. When you’re an NFL player, there are entirely different standards. The younger crop of players is really starting to go against this. Rookies are allowed to get away with more and more and no one is questioning it. Statements like ‘Boys will be boys’ or ‘He’s just young, give him a break,” excuse them instead of treating them like the men they’re supposed to be. If they’re man enough to play in the league and cash those checks, they are man enough to be held to certain standards.

Last but not least, I blame the fans, myself included. Football has become such a huge part of the zeitgeist and we want to be entertained. We want to forget about the world and our problems for a while so we ignore it. Yes, you can love a team and cheer for them, but not for everyone. It’s alright to call out players who are problematic and not root for them.

It’s a hard truth people don’t like to hear but we need to shout it out. As much as you support your team, it’s your job to call out those who deserve to be. I don’t think it makes you any less of a fan or loves the team any less. You just want your players to not just stick to sports and there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

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