Wait, wait, wait, am I hearing this right? People are upset with the punter for making a physical contribution to the game? Cheap shot? That hit looked like it came from the side if anything. That's a borderline call at best. We wouldn't be whining if that play freed him up to make the tackle on a big return, now would we? We are talking about a punter here. The only position in professional sports that is bullied on a regular basis. Despite bringing a very distinct skill set to the game, punters are treated like second class citizens in their own locker room. No one cries for a punter when he gets blindsided with a block on a return or nearly gets his leg amputated by superhuman players diving at his feet, why would we cry for the athletically superior man twice his size when the roles are reversed?
Sure, he looked like a coward ducking retribution from a couple of defensive players with bruised egos, but so what? He's a punter, everyone already thinks he's a coward anyway. Why not be the coward that finally stood up for the rights of his peers. Johnny Hekker is basically the dorky kid in 3rd grade that finally fights back after months and months of getting stuffed in a locker. Of course his bully could still kick his ass, and he should be aware of that, but at the very least he should gain respect for saying "enough is enough" and only going down after swinging. Maybe if Cliff Avril had his head on a swivel he wouldn't be picking grass out of his helmet. Sometimes you just got to remind an opponent that could break you in half that you're a professional football player too, so why not do so with a play that's nearly within the parameters of the rule book? It's better than being the bully with the fragile psyche that has to threaten unnecessary violence when their self-inflated sense of toughness is compromised. You can call Johnny Hekker a pussy if you want, but I am inclined to call him a hero. A hero that stood up for all scrawny white guys with strong legs in an NFL locker room that are constantly being marginalized. I thought that's the type of thing we were supposed to applaud in 2015? The fact that he had to apologize for playing aggressive football is just a sign of the bully-friendly culture we have created. This tweet is a win for every Richie Incognito in the league, and I for one am disgusted by it....
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