You're A Business - Man!

By Reginald Williams

On yesterday, the Washington Football Team (WFT) decided to part ways with Dwayne Haskins, the 2019 - 1st Round draft choice from "The Ohio State." Haskins was chosen to become Washington’s franchise quarterback.

The week leading up to the Monday afternoon dismissal saw the team's quarterback in a strip club without a mask, thus violating the NFL's COVID policy. That was his second violation of the COVID protocol. Subsequently, he was fined $40K and stripped of his leadership role as a Team Captain.

It is obvious why Rivera released him. He did so because of his "IMMATURITY."

Haskins' immaturity didn't suddenly make an appearance last week when he was spotted in a strip club after yet another loss; it was his patent childish behavior that's been evident throughout his 23 months with the organization. How, you ask, have I arrived at my conclusion? Just look at what the dude has done or has failed to do in his playing time (absolutely nothing). Rumors consistently circulated about his propensity to arrive at practice late, and he struggled in his comprehension of defensives. Haskins, the same dude, pissed off on draft night because he was chosen 15th, said: "The league done messed up." With hindsight being 20/20, it appears that statement was immature. "With most of the players selected before Haskins playing better than he has, it appears that the 14 NFL general managers choosing before the WFT were correct in not selecting Haskins.

Unfortunately, the juvenile behavior that has Haskins unemployed - even if temporary - is the conduct that occurs too frequently with our young Kings. These All-American, All-Everything studs - sold a bill of goods about their greatness, or their potential greatness, too often arrive at work as if they have "ARRIVED." Allow me to digress for just a moment. I'm not talking about other athletes (aka Johnny Manziel or billionaire owners). I'm talking exclusively about young Kings of colors - PERIOD. I'm not claiming all young Kings of color exhibit such juvenile behavior; however, I am saying too many exhibit the behavior. And just as I take it as my responsibility to support young Kings and call out those who marginalized them, I also take it as my responsibility to call out their regressive behavior in support of their careers. Hey, I want to see Haskins win.

I have often said, the worst day of the professional lives of many of these athletes is the day they sign their contracts. Their signatures represent the achievements of dreams held for the past 12 or 13 years. Their deals, especially those high-round draft choices, validate that they are officially players in the National Football League. Those funds that now sit in their bank accounts allow them to move out of the hood, purchase exotic whips, adorn themselves in the drizziest drip, chill in their celebrity status at clubs and VIP events, and let's not leave out, taking the hand of the flyest, finest, phat young ladies. They move with a SWAG that says, "I've Arrived." From ages 7, 8 or 9 to 20, they were on the mission to make the league. But now that they made it, there is no purposed plan beyond becoming a player - "They've Arrived."

These young Kings fail to understand that they are not just football players: they are businesses - Man. And as such, they should manage themselves accordingly. There are few young Kings of color leaving college earning a fully guaranteed $14.4 million over four years and getting $8.5 million of that pledged money the moment they sign their name to the contract.

As a business - Man, you protect your investment. You arrive at camp prepared. You find a teammate, a seasoned professional, who can guide you in the process of becoming the best professional athlete you can be. You dedicate the time off the field studying to become the best player that you can be on the field. It's time that these young Kings learn that no game is won or lost on the field; victory takes place in the preparation. “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

And for those struggling with my perspective, yes, there is Johnny Manziel and Ryan Leaf, Matt Leinert, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, and Gino Torretta. But I'm not talking about them. The population I work with is young Kings. And my message, strong as it may be, is for them. I hope you wouldn't debate with a vegan chef who does not cook BBQ. It is irrelevant what those other players/quarterbacks have or haven't achieved. The immaturity of young Kings is dealt with differently, no different from how society inserts questionable measures and practices on Black boys for some said offense, while overlooking similar offenses produced by white young men.

Young Kings you must seek out mentors outside of the gridiron that can guide you in the process of growing your business - Man. In the same way that you had a 10 or 12-year plan to become a professional football player, earmark a 10 or 12-year plan for how you will grow your professional legacy. Instead of walking around with an Amen congregation telling you what you prefer to hear, find an authentic audience who will feed you what you need to hear.

The National Football League is a billion-dollar enterprise. As much as I hate to admit this, your Black ass ain't nothing but a commodity, a pawn in the manufacturing process of creating billion for these owners. Young Kings, if you are going to be a part of the process, please, "stop fumbling away your greatness." Know that the NFL also stands for Not For Long, especially for immature young Kings who are not producing.

When Nate Robinson was knocked out by Jake Paul I wrote in Knocked Out And Still Champion that I was betting on him. Hey Haskins, I'm betting that you will “learn from it and cash in.” Much respect KING ♚ !!!