Good morning, Buffalo Rumblings! Are you guys ready for a vintage Morning Joe?
For the past three years of doing the Joe! series, I have touched upon some really controversial topics. I think it's the only reason why some of you actually read my stuff. I'm willing to go places where many people just aren't willing to go. However, I like to think that I do it in a tasteful way. I respect everyone's opinion and don't take what people believe or say as a personal attack. The truth is I have paid my dues, slugging it out over these years in the comments section. I can take the criticism and attacks that will come my way for being honest.
In reality, many of us grew up differently. There are age differences; social and economic differences, and of course race and sexual orientation differences. So I can completely understand how many of us are going to have very different opinions.
Some of you may be reading this and are already saying to yourself, "Oh boy, where is Kent going with this? I hate mixing my politics with sports." I accept that (SAMCRO reference). But as much as you may hate it, any and everything involving Bills football or the NFL in general is political. As you will see in a moment, there is a lot of "political" correctness (PC) going on.
So what's in store for today's Joe? I will be revisiting two controversial topics that I have discussed in the past. Why? I have been asked by some of you to discuss these topics, as some of these topics have resurfaced. I've decided to break up the discussion in two separate parts, in order to help manage some of the comments that these topics will generate in the comment section.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the Morning Joe! Remember: stay classy, Rumblers.
Disclaimer: What am I about to say is my opinion only. I do not speak for any other writer/contributor of Buffalo Rumblings.
What do you think of the Jonathan Martin situation? Would you want either him or Richie Incognito, or any of the alleged bullies, on the Bills?
I'm sure many of you are well aware of the issue involving Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin. He's the player that was allegedly bullied by teammates Mike Pouncey, John Jerry, and most notably Richie Incognito. After begrudgingly reading the 144 pages of the Wells report, which was an investigation in to the alleged bullying, I'm still left with the same feelings that I had before.
Is it me, or does something smell fishy (no pun intended)? If we assume that everything in the report is true, and the description of the events weren't taken out of context, then its hard for me to accept that Martin didn't report the alleged abuse, or understand why none of his teammates supported him. Am I expected to believe that there isn't anyone either in the organization or outside the organization that Martin couldn't have gone to to report this abuse? I'm sure the NFL has people and programs in place for players to contact in the event they are being discriminated or harmed; especially in this day and age with lawsuits and all. Our very own JoeP. posted this article the other day in the comment section of the Web Rumblings, which states that Martin was afraid to talk to coaches, staff members, or any other authority figure in fear of being ostracized or retaliated against. Now I have no doubt that he believed that, but is this the belief of a mentally stable person, or someone who has admitted to mental and self esteem issues in the past?
Can his reaction be an overreaction of someone who is unstable? Was this situation as serious as it's been depicted? Does that explain why none of his teammates came to his defense?
To answer whether or not I want either of these players on my team: I want good football players on my team that can help us win. Outside of Martin's issues, he wasn't a good football player. I'm glad we took Cordy Glenn instead of him two seasons ago. The guy just isn't good. As far as the other players, I have to consider whether or not their performance on the field outweighs the possible distractions that they may cause off it.
What do you think of former Missouri star and soon to be NFL pro Michael Sam announcing that he's gay? Would you want him on the Bills?
When it comes to topics such as race and sexual orientation, if you don't agree with something, you're automatically labeled a racist or homophobic. Society and public opinion often forces us to conform to a belief, even if we don't agree with something. The fear of being labeled and misunderstood outweighs speaking out.
In the case of Michael Sam, I really don't care what his sexual orientation is or isn't. I'm accepting of all life styles, as long as it doesn't negatively impact my life or others. However, I think I will never understand the reason why press conferences and formal announcements are made. If the whole idea is to be known for what you do and not who you are, why make it about who you are? The main focus should always be football. I'm afraid that it will be about Michael Sam the gay man who happens to play football, rather than Michael Sam the football player who happens to be gay. Seems counterproductive to me; that's all.
Will I want him on the Bills? If he can help my team win, yes! However, like the athlete who selfishly celebrates and gets a penalty, or the athlete who puts his political beliefs ahead of the well being of the team, I'm leery of any athlete who put their agenda ahead of the team's success.
Okay, I know this a lot to grasp all at once. I usually don't like discussing topics that I've discussed in the past, but I made an exception today. Please me know what you think.