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Steve Smith…Irresponsible or Unlucky?

A lot has been made of the Panthers’ Steve Smith’s broken arm sustained while playing in a friendly flag football game. Smith broke the same arm in the latter part of last season as well, although the fractures occurred in two entirely different places. The consensus is that Smith’s behavior was irresponsible, but I couldn’t disagree more. Yes, Smith has a responsibility to his team as a star to keep himself healthy. Yes, he failed to fulfill this responsibility, but that doesn’t make his action irresponsible, per se.

This is not a clone of the Brandon Marshall situation a few years ago when the 6’4″ receiver punched through his television and did damage to his arm. Smith wasn’t rough housing, and I agree with him that the incident was indeed a “freak accident”. I personally have played in several dozen flag football games with the most severe injury I have witnessed being a jammed finger. It would be one thing if he broke his arm in a bar fight or playing tackle football, but we cannot expect athletes to abstain from any non-NFL related activities altogether during their offseasons. We demand athletes retreat into cocoons for six months of the year, when the reality is that they have to work out, where injuries occur. They have families, and they must interact with them. They are human beings, not higher beings, and fans must be accommodating of that fact. Smith’s incident was unfortunate, but was not a product of stupidity or irresponsibility on his part.


June 25, 2010 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment