Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Day of Judgment for Clay Matthews

The media is wasting no time in criticizing Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews for the classless stunt he pulled in the game against the Arizona Cardinals today.   After sacking Cardinal’s quarterback Carson Palmer, Matthews extended his hand to help him up.  When Palmer reached out for his hand, Matthews quickly withdrew it.   It was clearly an act of  unsportsmanlike conduct  I don’t condone his behavior.  And if I were Coach Mike McCarthy, I would have a discussion with him that he would not soon forget.

But before we race to judge Matthews and start calling him every dirty name imaginable, let’s allow the rational part of our brains to function.  Here a few things to think about.


Don’t judge a person by one foolish stunt.  I have pulled some dumb stunts in my life.  I have said things I deeply regret.  I have “gestured” at people that cut me off in traffic.  I have ridiculed people.  The list could go on.  I just hope that I am not judged by isolated foolish actions. I really hope that people will consider the true substance of my character before drawing conclusions.  Can we do the same for Clay? Is he a jerk?  He may very well be a classless bimbo. But I refuse to allow the media to make that decision for me.  I will consider him innocent until proven guilty.


Choose to be consistent.  I was very unimpressed with the conduct of the Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians following a call by the officials he did not appreciate.  I expect better behavior from a seasoned coach with his level of experience.  But I don’t know the coach.  I refuse to form a final opinion regarding his character based on one incident I observed in today’s game.  It’s just not fair.  If you are going to call Clay Matthews every name in the book, are you going to do the same with Coach Arians?  Both were clearly acts of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Accountability:  I do think accountability is important.  Coach McCarthy has shown that he capable of holding his players accountable. He needs to do that in this case.  A public apology would speak volumes.  A suspension could be in order.   In fact, good could come from this incident if it was handled well. 


Emotions run high in professional football.  The players and coaches alike are under tremendous pressure.  That’s especially the case in this time of year. And they are all human… Those of us that are without sin can feel free to throw the first stone at Clay Matthews.  Today was a football game.  It was not the Day of Judgment. 

5 comments:

Chris said...

Clay Matthews makes in excess of $14 million / year but complains about the greedy owners who make him play football on a Thursday. His reality and mine do not intersect.

If he didn't want to help Mr. Palmer to his feet, he could have simply walked away. Instead, he pretended to be a sportsman, then left Carson Palmer looking foolish. Of course, as Matthews had just given Palmer an extra shot in the ribs for which he thought he'd escaped notice (except by Palmer, certainly), I suspect Palmer already knew Matthews was low class. Is Palmer a man of virtue? I have no idea. Is Mr. Matthews? I do not believe so.

I believe it is fair to judge individuals by their actions; particularly those who know millions of people are looking right at them.

I grew up in Green Bay; players lived in my neighborhood. I looked up to them. Kids still do. I cannot accept that acting with class is too much to ask.

If I made you an offer: I will pay you millions each year. You have to give me 100 % positive effort for 6 months, 16 hours each day. When not learning or practicing your craft, you must act like a gentleman. When competing, you must follow every rule, seek to defeat your opponent during play, but respect and care fore him between plays. Would you accept this deal? I would. Apparently,the respect part is beyond Mr. Matthews.

Remember Walter Payton? John Jefferson? Bart Starr? Rosie Greer? Would you incude Clay Matthews with these men?

Police judge people all the time. A driver 25 mph over the limit gets pulled over. If you are riding with the officer, do you tell him/her, "Wait. Do not judge harshly. Let the driver continue without interference" No, you allow the officer to investigate further. Short of a very good explanation, a ticket is forthcoming. I will wait a moment for Mr. Matthews' explanation, but I won't accept the lack of a reasonable explanation to leave Matthews unjudged. I judge him. So should you.

Anonymous said...

How about a little respect for proper grammar, specifically the subjunctive tense? "If I WERE..." not "If I WAS..."

Michael said...

I believe Mr. Anonymous sort of missed the whole point of John’s fine article.

DrKnox said...

Your thoughts are very well articulated. Thank you for taking time to share. I appreciate well supported ideas. Yours fall into that category. Thank you again.

DrKnox said...

I corrected it. Thank you for pointing out an obvious error: