BUFFALO, NY The announcement came as a surprise.
In football, giving up mid-round first-round picks for the next few years in exchange for a 26-year-old quarterback considered “exceptional” by some sounds like a no-brainer. Clearly, this is more difficult. For a player facing a pile of sexual misconduct charges, twenty-two civil claims are pursued. Some say that he is innocent since the grand jury did not find enough evidence to proceed to trial. The NFL will continue to comment on their own inquiry. Only those there know what occurred, and Deshaun has apparently invoked his Fifth Amendment rights throughout depositions.
Many people may need a refresher on why the federal “Violence Against Women Act” was just reauthorized. One out of every six women has been the victim of a rape attempt or completion in her lifetime. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, substance misuse, depression, and suicide are more common among these women. You either know or are one of these women. Period. You probably know someone who has been raped, whether you are aware of it.
As you come to terms with this, keep in mind that you have probably rooted for (and possibly still are rooting for) players, actresses, or politicians who have done worse than these charges. If the #metoo movement taught us anything, the public face we see is only a tiny part of a person’s whole complexity.
Due to these charges, I noticed a post that suggested a specific Christian player shouldn’t play with Deshaun. I would respond that Christianity instructs us to seek forgiveness; Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and sympathetic to one another, forgiving one another, just as God forgave you in Christ.” Deshaun, like us all, is likely in need of compassion and aid with whatever demons afflict him.
We may not always be able to forgive, but forgetting seems to be a lot simpler. Parts of Kareem Hunt’s background are undeniable on our squad because they were captured on camera. Sexual assault allegations were leveled against a future Hall of Fame quarterback (Big Ben), but he was quickly disliked. I’m sure Pittsburgh fans went through something similar a decade ago, but it’s never been mentioned on national broadcasts since then.
I understand both those who are disappointed and those who are elated due to this. It’s time to return home. Cleveland is the name of the city. This appears to be an excellent football addition. Perhaps you grew up watching Browns games with your family. This franchise has existed in various versions since World War II. It hasn’t always been without controversy.
The termination of Paul Brown by Art Modell was a shock before my time, but winning a championship masked the pain. Many people were clearly affected by this decision. And I can’t count the number of times my father said, “I’m done with these bums,” only to return to them every year for various front-office maneuvers and on-field plays over my youth.
The Browns, in my opinion, are more significant than one alleged sexual abuser and a group of foolish front-office executives. They’re on the right track here. If they confront these issues head-on with a strategy for atonement, they may be able to right the ship, and this situation may turn out to be a net positive for Deshaun, the Browns, and issues of violence against women. But it doesn’t mean I’m forgetful or forgiving right away.
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Alternatively, they might presume we’ll all forget and lose those who won’t. Forgiveness is a goal, but it’s not simple, whether for a problematic celebrity or a struggling NFL team.