The recent happening in Oakland, California is enough to give most of us pause even if you are not a sports fan. There can be no doubt that Antonio Brown is one of, if not the very best, the greatest wide receivers in the National Football League. His tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers proved it . He is fast, sure handed, and elusive. If he touches the ball there is no other way to describe him but dangerous. He is tremendously gifted.
His trade to the Oakland Raiders was filled with promise. Not only was he joining a stellar defense, he had a good quarterback and a coach in John Gruden who really understood offense and would only make him a bigger star. Judged by his tremendous signing bonus (rumored to be near $29 million) he was thought to be the difference for this troubled franchise. Everybody agreed.
There can also be little doubt that Antonio Brown went too far. We all feel that respect is essential to manhood. For some it is all important. To disrespect people is not something you can pay for. Twenty Nine Million Dollars does not give the right to own a person’s manhood. Slavery is over forever and we will not be bought as Patrick Henry said “at the price of chains or slavery”. (Did he have slaves?). But we don’t want to be a fool either.
I don’t know what the General Manager said to Antonio Brown, but evidently he did not like it. Threatening to fight him publicly was overplaying his hand. No matter how talented he was he was not indispensable. Unfortunately he found that out as he was released. I hope he has a better stay in New England than he did in Oakland. There was something to be learned from his experiences and, besides the loss of millions, I hope he got it.
Many of us have problems with authority. Whether it’s a boss, a teacher, a coach, or a policeman, often we believe we have better ideas or believe we have been wrongly accused or think we are smarter. It doesn’t matter if we are right or wrong, we can seldom win these battles. The best we can do is protest the result or outcome. Often those in charge are not fair but as long as they are given authority their actions can affect results. Whether It’s the boss who won’t promote you or give you the deserved raise, a teacher gives you a low grade, a coach who will not give you playing time, or a policeman who shots you or stops you for no reason, a person who in charge has the final say.
No matter your skill level or capability, there are always those who feel that you have a higher opinion of yourself than you should have. Sometimes it’s because they have a lower opinion of themselves. In either case there is little you can do. They want to prove their point and establish their prominent position and not yours. It requires a big person to swallow your pride and accept that they may be more powerful than you. It’s a hard lesson and not for everybody.
I only hope in Antonio Brown’s case it was worth it.