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Have you noticed the startling uptick in violent incidents at sports competitions? 

Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #49 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life. 

Sports existed before the Greeks gave us the Olympics. Friendly competition has been and still is an enjoyable pastime, testing skills, athletic prowess, experience, fortitude, and the old who-wants-it-most.

The fact that violent incidents periodically make an appearance on the sports field isn’t all that surprising, given that men and women are usually emotionally cranked during competitions. Add to this the reality that we’re all sinners, and we live in a fallen world, so of course there will be altercations from time to time.

Soccer, or “football” as it is called by the rest of the world, seems to have historically attracted not only fans but fan-atics who believe the game is a prize fight. 

Some 26 fans were injured in a soccer brawl in Mexico, gun shots were fired at a post-game soccer match in Portugal, a match was delayed when the crowd began fighting before a game in France between French and German teamsSaint-Etienne French soccer fans attacked their own players after the team lost, running onto the pitch and throwing flares and other objects at their players. “In the United Kingdom, the country's ‘football policing unit’ reported a 47% increase in arrests at soccer games this season over the same period in 2019-20.”

Fan fights, however, are becoming increasingly common in the US – at all levels of sports from little kids to the pros. University students are chanting the F-word at opposing players. Recently, Clemson and Georgia fans got into a brawl before the game, same happened Florida State v. Alabama, Fresno St v. Boise St, several NFL pre-season games, Rams-ChargersLions-EaglesDolphins-BillsJaguars-Steelers, including women by the way. 

And Major League Baseball too. A huge brawl erupted at Wrigley Field between Chicago Cubs and St Lous Cardinals fans.

An NBA player’s mother and wife were physically harassed by fans at a ballgame in Dallas and other players are saying they will no longer bring their families to games.

Professional tennis, historically one of the more mannerly sports, has witnessed an increase in verbal abuse. Players and fans using racial slurs at matches, spitting, cheating accusations, cursing, thrown racquets, angrily hit balls—some endangering personnel or fans, or just an egregious increase of poor sportsmanship, perhaps epitomized by Australian men’s player Nick Kyrgios, who curses loudly, shouts at the crowd or umpires, and after losing at Wimbledon, stood courtside pounding his racket into smithereens.

At a youth soccer game in Arizona, a father assaulted a referee while his son, the player, threatened to kill the referee.  

Parents youth players are becoming so verbally abusive and physically threatening that referees around the country are quitting and fewer are signing up for the job, creating a shortage of youth sports referees. 

The high school sports landscape has lost an estimated 50,000 officials and referees over the past three years.”

A 2017 survey by the National Association of Sports Officials found that 87 percent of the participants had suffered verbal abuse, 13 percent reported being assaulted, and 47 percent said they felt unsafe. 

Parents have also attacked each otheryouth referees, and even players, including tripping teens on the field, shining a laser into a player’s eyes or knocking them overRacist catcallstaunts and insults against teams of color from parents are also all too common.”

“Last fall, the father of a player in Vail, Colorado, sprayed a youth hockey coach in the face with Lysol

The mother of a player in Laurel, Mississippi, ambushed the umpire of a softball game for 12 year olds at a parking lot after a game this April and gave her a black eye

And in August 2022, popular football coach Mike Hickmon of Texas was shot and killed – in front of horrified children – after a game for nine-year-olds during an argument over the score. Small wonder that 80 percent of all new high school sports officials in the U.S. leave the field after two years.”

Now, “kids in the U.S. are quitting youth sports in droves, with nearly 70 percent dropping out before age 13 “because it’s just not fun anymore.” 

This trend, experts say, is largely due to too much pressure and the growing number of overzealous sports parents screaming insults at coaches and kids from the sidelines.”

“'Violent sports fans are causing alarm at every level, from high schools to the pros, there are nearly daily incidents of abusive behavior in the stands.” 

Anecdotally, you see the increase in aggressive, abusive, threatening behavior, along with actual assaults.

Then there is the use of alcohol, not mentioned in most of the examples I cited, but it’s there, particularly on the professional level. 

Teams have learned that 10-cent-beer nights are counterproductive, but while they may limit beer purchases after the seventh inning or during the fourth quarter, by then fans are already sauced.   

Some are saying this increase in sports violence is due to the stresses of the pandemic. Maybe.

Others say it is rooted in the hours people spend online, yelling and cursing virtually and now not adjusting to real-life exchanges. Maybe.

But more likely, this increase in abusiveness and violence is more evidence of the breakdown of American culture. Civility and empathy are disappearing in our society, so why wouldn’t we expect this in sports as well?

I’ve noted in earlier podcasts, we’re living in a post-Christian culture, a time of serious cultural chaos. Individuals are attempting to live, without genuine religious faith, often without healthy family support, with a focus upon personal happiness and little else. 

So, they are developing more neuroses, more anger. People no longer live with the reinforcement religious faith provides, nor its restraint either. Anything and everything sets them off, including sports not going as they wish.

Scripture reminds us, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man,” (Matt 24:37). So then, what was it like in the days of Noah?

Again, Scripture tells us, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence,” (Gen. 6:11).

In the days of Noah, it was violent, and “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time,” (Gen. 6:5).

I wish I could say recent sports violence is a blip, that it will go away soon, but sorry to say, I think this will get worse, as it is now in other societal activities, like going to the mall, school, parades, concerts, workplace, even church.

So, taking reasonable precautions is good stewardship. Don’t go to games where beer is the primary marketing push. Know where you are booking seats in the stadium or fieldhouse. Be aware of what other fans are doing around you during the game, and if needed, take your family out of there. Don’t allow younger if not even teens to go to the restroom on their own. Park in lots or ramps that are well-lighted and easy to access. Use common sense.

But Christians should not despair—ever—for our light should shine brighter in cultural darkness. We are to be salt and light, peacemakers, voices of reason, testimonies of faith in a better way only possible through faith in Christ.

Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s 

And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022   

*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at  

I like watching football. But I don’t much like the NFL.

  1. There is the politicization of the game, first the national anthem controversy, then the wokeism, in the name of civil rights but really pretty shallow self-serving posturing.
  1. Then there’s the League’s history dealing with or rather winking time and again at players involved in abuse of women. Lot of examples. Take the current DeShaun Watson case: 22, or is it 24, women accuse him of sexual assault, misconduct. Yes, a TX Grand Jury declined to prosecute. Yes, one is innocent until proven guilty. But that’s a lot of smoke to suggest there’s no fire. In the post-“Me Too” era it’s mind boggling how many teams are actively considering trading for him to be their QB. Do you want this guy to be the face of your franchise? Apparently many do.
  1. Then there’s the League’s decision, as soon as the law allowed, to embrace sports gambling as a business opportunity, this after decades arguing gambling could undermine the integrity of fair and free competition. And while the League pulls in millions on the backs of its fans, it has the moral audacity to fine players who gamble on their teams.

Remember Al Davis? “Just win, baby.”


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2022    

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American professional sports are morphing into just another segment from cable news.

If you’re like most people I know, you watch sports for the love of the game, the excitement of competition, the entertainment, and the escape from everyday pressures. Given the increasing politicization of American professional sports, that last one about escaping everyday news is not going to happen, at least not in 2020.

Consider these recent developments so far:

Drew Brees, long-time star quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and reputed all around nice guy, said in an interview that he “will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” then after enormous criticism from other players, Black and White, he apologized profusely for his “insensitive” remarks, as did his wife, repeatedly. 

My point here is not that Brees said what he did, which a majority of Americans agree with, or that some people didn’t like it. My point is that he got ostracized for expressing the “wrong view,” i.e. he made what at one time was considered a patriotic statement and then was blasted for not aligning with the social justice views of multiple other players. Beyond that, he was not accorded his own freedom of speech and he chose to retract his statements, likely so he can play another year in the league. 

Who now, in the NFL or any league, assuming they disagree with the direction the leagues are going, is going to speak up? 

Perhaps it is U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, part owner of the Atlanta Dream WNBA team, who penned a letter to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert decrying the league's association with the "BLM" movement and suggested wearing American flag jerseys instead. Loeffler later appeared on Fox News to say "Black Lives Matter " is "based on Marxist principles" that could "destroy" the country.

She told ESPN. "I think we all agree the life of every African American is important. There's no room for racism in this country, and we have to root it out where it exists. But there's a political organization called Black Lives Matter that I think is very important to make the distinction between their aim and where we are as a country at this moment. The Black Lives Matter political organization advocates things like defunding and abolishing the police, abolishing our military, emptying our prisons, destroying the nuclear family. It promotes violence and antisemitism. To me, this is not what our league stands for."

Some people question whether Loeffler, who has seemingly evidenced support for progressive causes in the past, may be using this recent sports controversy to prop up her senatorial campaign.

Since this time, several players and others associated with the league or the team have tried to get Loeffler ousted from ownership. Why? For expressing “the wrong views.”

In October 2019, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted on his personal account, "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong. The NBA wants the China market, so when the Chinese government reacted negatively to the tweet a firestorm broke out resulting in Morey apologizing, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver offering a weak recognition of Morey’s free speech rights while all the while condemning the incident, Houston Rocket’s star James Harden apologizing to China, and NBA king LeBron James coming off looking like he endorsed China more than American values. 

Why was this incident such an issue? It was the first national level story featuring personal social media privileges/rights vs corporate interests and accountability, and it involved freedom of speech, international politics, and money. Free speech lost the game. Follow the money.

“In the end, it will be money that dictates the future of political expression in professional sports.”

These are but a few illustrations. The rush-to-political-correctness boulder is rolling down the mountain faster than anyone could have imagined. Major corporations, not least the sports leagues and teams, are turning into pretzels trying to assuage the woke-culture-bully. 

They say this is about racial justice and police brutality, and undoubtedly for some athletes and executives it is just that. They hold sincere concerns, they work in a league comprised of majority Black athletes, they care, and I give them kudos for this.

I also salute and defend any athletes’ right to his or her freedom of speech, to say whatever and to use their sports fame to advance ideas they believe in. Back when, I wrote in support of Colin Kaepernick’s right to his views, even though I thought is method of conveying them by kneeling during the National Anthem was a mistake, and I did not like the imagery. I recognized that for him, this was not about the military or veterans or even the flag per se, yet for millions of others it was and still is, and he and subsequent players know this. Now he is being touted as a hero, yet Drew Brees, a far and away more talented and more important player in the league, is being tossed aside.

What I don’t think is wise, even if legal and within the leagues’ or teams’ rights to freedom of speech, is:

  1. a wholesale embrace of the organization Black Lives Matter, which is about many things other than Black lives, nearly all of them dangerous to the social fabric, including promoting abortion, “queer affirming” lifestyles, destruction of the family structure, dismantling of the current political system, even attacking Christianity. 

The danger for the leagues is viewers who disagree with this ideology may choose to skip television coverage, much less paying exorbitant ticket prices, to see professional sports.

  1. the sudden not-thoroughly-considered groveling to the new woke doctrine that brooks no disagreement, then pushing it on their viewers. There is racism, and there are incidents of police brutality, but the level of purge this movement has attracted is not warranted by reality. Check the evidence. 

Plus, the primary leadership of the movement can in no way be compared to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. That movement sought to achieve liberty and justice for all including Black people. Many within the Black Lives Matter movement today are working to destroy the system, the country, the values that make America and made America a land of opportunity, including for all races and ethnicities.

The danger for the leagues is that viewers will vote with their feet and walk away from the political propaganda.

I hope the politicization of professional sports tops out, but I am not optimistic. Right now, every professional sports league is trying to outdo the other one in its we-are-more-woke-than-thou. So they aren’t selling competition. They’re selling their version of social justice. I can watch that on cable news.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

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“Never talk about religion and politics in polite company.” So goes the old adage.  Now we could add, “Or sports, protest, and patriotism.”

We used to play flag football. Now its flag and football. 

If you want to launch a debate, or pick a fight, just weigh in on news stories reporting NFL players kneeling or sitting during the playing of the national anthem prior to a football game. Guaranteed you’ll get a rousing response, because feelings on all sides of this now multi-faceted issue are right on the surface.


August 2016, then NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, refused to stand during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for an NFL preseason game. In an interview with NFL Media after the game he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Later, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the NFL released a statement saying, “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem." (The NBA has a clear, must-stand policy.)

Periodically during the 2016 NFL season, various players around the league emulated Kaepernick’s actions, but the reasons behind their protest began to broaden. Given the limited number of players involved, the protest may have been dying out, or at least was getting to a point it attracted minimal attention.

Then September 22, 2017, at a Huntsville, Alabama rally President Donald Trump called for owners to fire protesting players refusing to stand for the national anthem and encouraged fans to walk out on games when players protested. He also ridiculed the NFL for safety concerns regarding CTE, charged the game was being ruined by tighter safety rules, and used profane language to reference players.

This vigorous challenge by the President galvanized players, coaches, and staff across the NFL such that September 24, 2017, protests occurred throughout the league at virtually every game with more than 200 players sitting or kneeling during the national anthem. Some protests included owners and some locked arms or raised fists, while other players stood at attention.

Since this time, President Trump has periodically continued his push back on the NFL players and many fans nationwide have interpreted the players’ protests as disrespectful to the flag, dishonoring to veterans, police, and first responders, evidence of rich “whiny millionaires,” or “spoiled,” “entitled,” ungrateful athletes who are biting the hand that feeds them.

At the same time, the original meaning of protests—police brutality, killing of young black men by police, racial justice, or racism in general—have been rejected or set aside by many fans, NFL owners, and some coaches. And in much media, a focus on the original meaning of the protests has morphed from police brutality and racism to disrespect for the flag, police, and veterans.

Protesting players and those who support them have argued this is a First Amendment issue, that professional football players have the right to express themselves as much as any other American citizen. But a counter argument has been made saying professional football players on a field of play are “at work” so when they interject political protest “on the job,” whether during the national anthem or otherwise, they are in violation of common workplace expectations and policies that one should express one’s politics outside of the workplace.

Television networks have begun to skip coverage of the national anthem. October 17, 2017, the NFL owners and Commissioner met with players and the NFL Players Association Executive Director to discuss the matter and rumors suggested the NFL considered changing its policy regarding what is expected of players during the playing of the national anthem. But to date, no rule change has been enacted.

Protest Effectiveness

If the measure of the effectiveness of a political protest is the amount of attention it garners, then by any standard, Kaepernick and subsequent players’ protests have been eminently successful. You’d have to have been on Mars for the past few months to not know something about players taking a knee during the national anthem.

If the measure of effectiveness of a political protest is the number of people you recruit to supporting your cause, then Kaepernick and other players’ protests have been an abject failure, because NFL game attendances have plummeted, notables (nearly all White) are on record saying they will never watch another NFL game, and more importantly, the original intent of the protests have been wholly overwhelmed and displaced by patriotic concerns for the symbolism of the flag, i.e. few people are talking about police brutality or racism.

Other than earning its own Wikipedia page, perhaps the jury is still out on the ultimate effectiveness of this protest. But more than a year in, the controversy has not gone away and is not likely to do so anytime soon. One reason is that this protest and reaction gets to core matters in the American political culture—race relations, criminal justice, professional sports, and patriotism.

Everyone has an opinion, which may be good. What’s not so good is that the hyper-sensitive nature of race and patriotism writ large in the optics of a national anthem protest lead much of the public and/or media response to gloss over a number of critical considerations.


  • Until 2009, professional football teams stayed in the locker room to conserve game preparation time, so lining up for the national anthem is a relatively recent phenomenon in the NFL, one that started as much for the perceived profitable optics as any zeal for patriotism.
  • While the US Code calls for standing during playing of the national anthem this has never been enforced or considered a legal matter, so NFL players are not breaking the law when “not standing.”
  • As noted earlier, the NFL does not require players to stand during the national anthem, so players opting to kneel or sit during the national anthem are not in violation of league policy.
  • While a symbol vested with enormous emotional sentiment based upon a history of sacrifice and patriotism, the US flag is not sacred and thus protected from all desecration, including burning, stomping, wearing as clothing, etc., so the public’s veneration of the flag, while understandable and admirable, is not a legal or moral requirement of any citizen.
  • The First Amendment restricts government’s intervention upon citizen expression, but one’s freedom to speak or otherwise express oneself is not unlimited or apply to every life circumstance and an entire body of case law interprets this, plus, there is no absolute right to freedom of speech in the workplace.
  • Members of the public who consider it disrespectful to the flag and offensive when people do not stand for the national anthem and in turn call for players or others to be required to stand for the national anthem may have forgotten that the US has experienced similar dilemmas before, for example, no one can be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Colin Kaepernick may have been a poor spokesperson, given his penchant for wearing socks with police officers depicted as pigs and his negative comments not about issues per se but about the United States, but of course this is a subjective observation and whatever one thinks of Kaepernick, he is an American citizen with every right to express himself.
  • President Trump may be speaking for the feelings of many citizens regarding the form of the protest, but when he called players, in general, “S.O.B.s,” and attacked the NFL’s slow but progressing uptake on legitimate safety issues, he seemed to be baiting people more than making substantive comments.


The NFL players’ national anthem protests, and President Trump’s later and continuing follow-up, have produced considerable heat but not much light on the issues involved.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that opposing sides do not seem to be listening to each other. This is apparent in the virtual absence of any discussion of race relations or police practices, a wholesale media focus on the flag and the national anthem, and except for one NFL owners/players meeting, only limited attempts to discuss what prompted this protest and what, if anything, can and should be done about the issues involved. The focus of national dissension or discussion re the protests is not really about race and justice but about patriotism. This said, there is some response among leading players and at the team and city level where players are working together with police and others to find ways to serve their communities.

Another disheartening outcome of this controversy is the incredible fan and public reaction that, if taken at face value, willingly recommends silencing players’ freedom of speech or forcing players, via some corporate or legal coercion, to stand for the national anthem, or otherwise demanding compliance with what’s considered the appropriate action. The patriotic sentiment involved is understandable, but players have repeatedly said they are not aiming their concerns at the military.

Where the public’s reaction possibly would make sense is if the NFL actually had a policy on standing for the anthem, or if the league would make clear to players that what they do on the field is part of their workplace and employee relationship.  To date, the NFL has not done this and seems to not be sure what to do next to get itself out of a P.R. debacle. So one wonders if the issue is more the stumbling way the NFL has handled this protest than it is players’ freedom of speech, or even the nature or time of the protest.

Lastly, there are the national anthem and flag themselves. Aside from what the protests represent, the fact that players chose to express their views during the national anthem was a huge misstep in Kaepernick’s or later players’ strategy. It backfired on them miserably and would have done so without President Trump’s ill-conceived and needless intervention. If indeed some players wish to encourage serious discussion about race relations, police practices, and criminal justice in general, they would be well-served to find a way to express these views in a manner that does not appear to be undermining the free country in which they live. 

Some would reject this comment out of hand, even calling it racist because perhaps it is not sensitive enough to African Americans’ concerns. But this is not the point here. Martin Luther King Jr’s approach during the Civil Rights Movement was not to attack or dismiss the country in which he lived (which a small number of players have done but by all means not most) but to point to its unrealized ideals in the lives of Black citizens. He called people to a higher account. He did not tear down; he built up. He did not want to silence those who disagreed with him; he wanted to hear from those he represented, to give them a voice in the public space. This is a lesson Colin Kaepernick, and it appears many in the general public, missed.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2017    

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling against the New Orleans Saints for the team’s “bounty system” is just another example of a run of bad sports news in the past few years.

Start with Penn State, then add USC, Uiversity of Miami, Ohio State, Syracuse, Ndamukong suh’s stomp, and Floyd Mayweather’s cheap shot. Reach back a little farther and you get Alberto Contador and before him Floyd Landis being stripped of Tour de France wins for doping, and you get Bill Belichick’s sideline video cheating scandal for the Boston Patriots. There are far more examples than those listed here.

Not all these examples are of the same level or concern. Some have argued that people over-reacted to certain occurrences, like for example the memorabilia-for-tattoos scenario at Ohio State. Certainly the child sexual molestation issues at Penn State and Syracuse are as bad as things get. Whatever your take on some of these instances, they all represent a hit on sportsmanship.

The New Orleans Saints “bounty system,” bonus pay for intentionally harming other teams’ players to knock then out of games represents a total disregard for sportsmanship. Not only did members of the Saints coaching staff ignore rules, they later lied to the NFL about their practice, and over at least three years stepped on ethics and fair play. What makes this situation a scandal is that not one or two but many people, coaches and players, colluded to make this scheme happen.

The Saints-that-ain’t worked together in multi-person cheating, lack of integrity, absence of ethics, and disregard for sportsmanship. It’s not unlike Enron or Arthur Andersen of a few years ago, just a different playing field.

Sportsmanship is the idea that sports teams can meet on a court or field of play for fair, honest, and by-the-rules competition. Any effort to gain advantage outside simply the talent and skill and desire of players participating in the event is a form of cheating. Such efforts destroy the integrity of sport, remove from it the joy and beauty of athletics, and reduce the competition to a conflict.

What’s even worse about the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty” is that it aimed at hurting other team’s athletes. This system was set up to damage not just fair play and competition but the health, wellbeing, and possibly livelihood of opposing athletes. It was a form of paying people for assault.

I was never all that warm to Roger Goodell, though I don’t know why. I’m in his camp now. The New Orleans Saints deserved to have the book thrown at them, and Goodell demonstrated far more backbone than most sports commissioners have been known to evidence. He conducted an investigation, found the evidence, and applied the penalty. For this we might in a few years be lauding him for helping restore some sportsmanship in professional sports. Now if only the NCAA could find its own Goodell.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

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Brett Favre played quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, and finally for the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. In his playing days he was without question one of the most exciting players to watch. His “gunslinger” approach created plays time and again where there were none moments before and brought his team success and his fans enjoyment. Then it came time for him to retire.

If you’ve paid much attention to football you know his story. Fuss with the Green Bay Packers organization, act like a spoiled kid instead of a nearly 40 year old professional, retire, not retire, retire, come out of retirement. Cry at retirement, come back a few months later: what is this? Whatever was going on in Favre’s life this non-disappearing act made the man look like he didn’t know what he was doing. After a couple of years of this he finally retired January 17, 2011. Or maybe he did—word this week is that he may get a call from the Houston Texans.

Worse than Favre’s retirement fiasco were some alleged off the field shenanigans, investigation by the NFL, a finding he’d violated the league’s personal conduct policy, a $50,000 fine for not co-operating with the investigation, and Favre’s typical reticence on something he should have been man enough to handle. Favre supposedly texted or “sexted” the Jets “Gameday” host Jenn Sterger several times during the 2008 season, sending her salacious messages. She and others claimed he did, he denied it, and now no one really knows. But there was a lot of smoke to believe there was no fire.

Worse still is how Favre not only left the Green Bay Packers but how he spoke publicly about a management and a team that had been his home for most of his illustrious professional career. He slammed them in public and argued his weak case in media.

And worse than this is how he then and now has continued to treat—which is to say not treat at all—Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In a recent television interview Rodgers carefully admitted he “had not heard from” Favre after the Packers won the February 2011 Super Bowl and that he thought he’d had a relationship with Favre earlier but not now. Rivalries in sports and otherwise are understandable, even healthy at times, but this kind of silence speaks volumes. This is what we now have come to realize is the real Brett Favre, a small man in a big profession.

One of the signs of a great leader is that he or she knows when to leave. Great leaders are great not only for what they do during their run at the top but for how they handle themselves and what they do when it’s time to move on—and every leader eventually moves on via opportunity, retirement, illness, or death. The end comes to us all. Favre walked out whining and has never stopped. He clearly is bothered by his successor’s success, and he’s made it clear that he is a selfish person. It could have been different.

When Joe Montana, winner of four Super Bowls in the 1980s with the San Francisco 49ers, came to the end of his run in San Francisco he quietly went to Kansas City and played out his career with the Chiefs. He remains today one of the most respected quarterbacks to play the game, and he lives near San Francisco his adopted town. He won big, he left quietly and respectfully. This is what could have been for Brett Favre.

Whether Brett Favre ever regains his stature in Packer land is largely up to him. For now he’s a sad case. Someday, hopefully for his sake, he’ll make amends. But the damage to his legacy has been severe and it will remain so until Favre demonstrates a depth of character that has so far been absent.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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