CharlotteObserver- A short video posted by a Panthers in-house reporter of Benjamin running a single route earlier this week at OTAs got the meme-and-tease treatment, as many in the thread opined that Benjamin looked slow, to put it politely.
Somewhat unflattering photos of Benjamin walking out of practice surfaced on Wednesday drew even more weight speculation and jokes.
“A lot was made out of it that was unfair to be made out of it,” said head coach Ron Rivera on Thursday morning after OTAs. “Especially in a voluntary situation. But he’s worked very hard. He’s focused in on what he needs to do and he’s done that."
“Now we as coaches need to stay on him to make sure he’s doing the right things.”
Unfair? UNFAIR?!? It's unfair to make fat jokes at the expense of someone that's getting paid millions upon millions of dollars to play a position that predicated on speed and athleticism? I refuse to let an NFL head coach shame the general public for body shaming when the body in question is nothing short of shameful. Kelvin Benjamin might not be the most photogenic player in the world, but - while it does add ten pounds - the camera most certainly doesn't add ten seconds to an in-breaking intermediate route....
So I don't need Ron Rivera telling me what level of laughter is appropriate when his playmaker was clearly making bi-weekly trips to the local baker during the offseason. If I want to make light of a wide receiver that is looking shockingly heavy then I will do just that. What are we supposed to get a glimpse of a professional athlete who is one cupcake away from eating his way out of his jersey and rationally discuss the amount of time that's available for him to slim down before the season starts? Yeah, no fucking thanks. He voluntarily showed up to voluntary workouts looking like he spent the last few months volunteering to be the odds-on favorite in hot dog eating contests instead of working out. As far as I am concerned, he basically chose to expose himself to a level of public humiliation that's reminiscent of a woman getting mistaken as pregnant after a particularly gluttonous weekend.
No, but seriously. Ron Rivera has either found sarcasm in an ab-less place, or he doesn't know how social media works...
Rivera said after Thursday morning’s OTAs session that Benjamin has been “outstanding ... as you guys can see, he looks great out there.”