The problem with parables is the person who needs the lesson doesn’t want to admit their situation mirrors the metaphor. I think they call it cognitive dissonance. Either way, it means they’re making a big mistake. Let’s tell a story, veiled but simplified from real life. I picked the team colors because of a Babylon 5 joke, so don’t read anything into that.
A Tale of Two Teams
The Green Team and the Purple Team have held a rivalry since the dawn of football. As with any sport, we can expect fans of these teams be vocal about the superiority of their team. If a Green wide receiver gets a DUI, maybe the Greenies are a bit too forgiving, while the Purps think he should receive a harsher penalty from the NFL. But both acknowledge there’s a problem with the player.
The New Quarterback
Ron Grady is a man with a long track record of womanizing, boasting, adultery, lying, walking in on teenage girls’ dressing room at a show he hosted, bullying, and actions that some considered racist. Before he joined Team Purple, everybody knew this. Ron even had money problems, but got bailed out by some people involved in illegal gambling. Once he joined the team, fans of that Purple appear to have ignored his past and cheered him on at games as if he can do no wrong. Much of this behavior hasn’t stopped, in stark contrast to the role-model standard the NFL expects of players and in fact encourages. Most other interviews you hear with players have them thanking the team and God, rather than taking all the credit for themselves like Ron does.
Cause For Alarm
If everything I’ve said about Ron is true, outside of sports, you’d be right to have concern over this man’s actions. They are well documented, from his college days to his last three years on the team. It should be no surprise that supporters of Team Green would look for reasons for the NFL to expel him. The list of concerns are troubling, and normally somebody like that wouldn’t be hired, or soon fired.
Instead, Purple fans are up in arms, claiming that Green is just trying to influence the SuperBowl which is coming up. Did I forget to mention, both teams made it to the big game? The stakes are high for the sport’s highest achievement. It’s no secret Green objects to Ron Grady, Purple’s chosen leader to greatness.
The Latest Scandal
The latest straw laid on the camel’s back came up this summer. As with all NFL players, Grady is supposed to donate some of his salary to charity. In our story, it’s a specific charity he has to donate to, a sports equipment manufacturer who will use the money to make sure every poor school in Elbonia has balls so the kids can play.
With signed check ready to go, Ron halted. He then told the CEO, that he needed a favor, first. These two points are proven with evidence from the bank and a standard recording of their meeting. Remember, he is supposed to donate that money, it’s in the rules. But what he asked for was to have the Green Team’s footballs air pressure lowered at their games. This would worsen their performance and kill their chances of making it to the Super Bowl.
Suspicious Lack of Curiosity
There’s a hearing about this latest claim. Bank records show Grady delayed payment on the check. Audio exists of him saying “do me a favor” because it was a major press event with one of those huge cardboard checks. But a lot of people on the NFL board like Purple. They feel that Green’s management is just trying to get an edge. So they’re trying to hurry the proceedings along as a waste of time. There’s no need to ask more questions or look at documents or listen to some people who were involved with the check or phone call.
Ever see one of them shows where the kids come running into the Sheriff's office and tell him about this crime they saw, and the Sheriff is all like, “uh huh. Sure. You’re just over-reacting. It’s probably nothing.” Every Sheriff who does that is failing their job. They are betraying their duty to the public. They aren’t listening and they’re letting their biases control them.
If Ron Grady really is bad, you can expect people to object to him. If Ron Grady is just the guy on the opposition team, you can expect people to object to him. Ignoring complaints about him because you think it’s the latter means you will miss the former. Refusing to listen or look at evidence tells everybody that you favor your team over doing the right thing. That’s not good sportsmanship and if the charge is true, makes them complicit.
The truth of the matter is, there are plenty of good quarterbacks to sign. Even ones who’ve stumbled, but overall been honest and decent while leading their team to victory. Purple doesn’t need Ron Grady as much as it thinks it does. Mistaking outrage about his actions for a team rivalry is increasing the damage to the NFL and Team Purple’s reputation. It’s bad for business, and bad for the game.