Recently, Odell Beckham Jr, a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens posted on his Instagram account photos of football workouts with some of his teammates including photos of Ravens quarterback LaMar Jackson and wide receiver Zay Flowers. Also spotted in one of the pictures was Elijah Moore, who is a new wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns.
While this has been shared on various social media platforms, there seems to be a debate on if this type of activity should be considered an issue at all since this is the off-season in the NFL and players aren’t doing team-directed activities at the moment. Some Browns fans have even pointed out that Browns tight end David Njoku once worked out in a previous off-season with Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Obviously, there have been likely many of these types of activities when NFL players from various teams have worked out when the season hasn’t been happening.
However, this new way of the NFL now showcases an age where players are more concerned with their popularity on social media and their status in fame. This also showcases fans that have lost sight too, along with these players they follow the whole idea of what exactly loyalty is.
Maybe, because this is written by an older fan of sports and in this case the NFL, it’s upsetting to see this loss of team loyalty. In the end, I believe it hurts the game. It hurts because some of these players seem to be more interested in making money rather than having that competitive edge, where you as the player really loathed the opponent.
While I find the actions of Elijah Moore to be wrong on a competitive level because he is working out with a divisional rival, I also understand that these players aren’t even thinking like that anymore.
It makes it worse these days because some in this Cleveland fan base don’t see anything wrong with these types of actions from the players that are on the team now. If you saw Deshaun Watson working out with LaMar Jackson or Joe Burrow tomorrow, you would be okay with that?
As an older fan of this franchise, I know I wouldn’t have ever seen quarterback Bernie Kosar working out with Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway.
Do we think we would have seen Michael Jordan working out with Brad Daugherty or Mark Price during the NBA off-season? Or what about watching Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians working out with Atlanta Braves player Chipper Jones (they once brawled in a minor league game)?
Part of the beauty in sports is that there used to be rivalries and real hatred for the other team. That has all now been watered down to where we all just want to be friends and make money. While fans are spending enormous amounts of money on these players (their choice, of course) and praying for a championship we can’t really believe any longer that some of these athletes really care about winning games. They may say they do, but when you watch a player of one rival work out with another player from the other then that fighter mentality to get an edge on the competition is really in essence lost.