Each and every one of us has been in the unenviable position of having stuck our foot in our respective mouths before. If you haven’t, then you’re perfect and can stop reading. Unfortunately for some, there is a bigger spotlight which shines directly onto their mouths and makes everything they utter larger then it probably should be. These individuals of course are politicians, athletes, entertainers, etc. You know who they are.
There are however, times when famous individuals say things that seem to contradict many of the things they’ve said before. Take the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Clark for example. For the record, I like Clark. I love the way he plays the game of football. He isn’t the biggest or the fastest guy on the field but no one abuses his own body the way he does for 60 minutes every week for the sake of victory.
I also appreciate the fact that Clark puts much of his life out for public viewing via his Twitter account. I don’t follow players from other teams but I’d be hard-pressed to find players that give the access that Ryan does on a daily basis. With that said, Ryan is no different from us. He puts his thoughts and beliefs out there and when you do that, you recognize there are potential pitfalls. Clark had one this week related to scandal involving ‘Bounties’ in New Orleans. If you didn’t see it or don’t follow him on Twitter this is what he said;
Whoever is snitching on the Saints D should be ashamed of themselves. No one was talking about the “bounty” when they got paid. #shame!
First of all, how do we know the ‘snitch’ was even a player? Could have been the guy washing jock straps for all we all know. There are so many people around team facilities that this wouldn’t shock me a bit. Secondly, it appears Ryan is more concerned about someone who ‘fessed up’ than he is about the tactic of paying money to solely injure fellow players.
No one likes the big hits as much as I do and no one hates what Commissioner Roger Goodell is doing to the aggressiveness of the game more than me. I’ve ranted numerous times about this often defending Clark, James Harrison and other Steelers who are clearly the poster children for Goodell’s move towards ‘player safety.’ Paying players a bounty for the sole purpose of injuring competitors is wrong and would have a domino effect of epic proportions.
Imagine Clark’s outrage if Torrie Smith and the Ravens offense had a ‘bounty’ of sorts in which every time they catch a pass in front of Clark they get paid. Money would go up if you caused him to miss a tackle or if you scored on him. That’s what is coming if the bounty system is allowed to flourish.
Perhaps the most disturbing part about Clark’s message is that it comes from a man who routinely and openly discusses his faith. Is this the type of message that Ryan’s faith wants to send? That it’s OK to place bounties on your fellow man but don’t you dare snitch on anyone doing it? I’m guessing not.
We are told from a very young age to think before we speak and perhaps now in the 21st century we all, myself included, should think before we tweet. As the saying goes, “snitches get stitches.” Well, so do guys who have bounties on their head as well.