The vision of Saints tight end Foster Moreau with his head in his hands after a costly drop in the end zone on Thursday night was a tough sight for many NFL fans, especially considering the health battle Moreau endured this summer.
But there is a tendency for people to not see the personal side of athletes, particularly NFL players who are already larger than life even before they put on all the gear that further shields their humanity.
Some of those folks were quick to hurl awful insults at Moreau on social media, a phenomenon that still defies logic even after all these years of increased accessibility to public figures. Just because you can tag them, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do so. Just a thought.
But some of his former teammates wish fans would understand what a player like Moreau is going through when a mistake like that is made so they wouldn’t feel the need to pile on. Raiders tight end Jesper Horsted said his perspective changed quite a bit when he went from being a fan of the sport to being an NFL player.
“You realize the way people can treat players when things don’t go their way when they’re already beating themselves up over it,” he said. “A lot of things you are saying do get back to the players and their families and that it’s very rarely a lack of effort or caring. “
Horsted said he’s been through similar situations and it can be incredibly draining and overwhelming. He didn’t reach out to his former teammate just yet because he didn’t want to add to the flood of messages, both positive and negative, that he knew Moreau was sorting through.
“For me, I just shut the phone off and tried to get away from everything, even the supportive ones,” Horsted said. “It can be so overwhelming and I didn’t want to be part of that. But next time I see him, it’s all love and support between us. He knows that.”
To Moreau’s credit, he spoke to reporters after the game and took the blame upon himself.
“It’s a dark place to be,” said Moreau, who spent the offseason in treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and is a spokesperson for the league’s ‘Crucial Catch’ campaign. “It’s the National Football League. It doesn’t come down to one play, but it comes down to one play. The team fought. The team fought as hard as we did, and it’s just unacceptable. It’s just pathetic.”
Not as pathetic as those spewing nastiness and vitriol at him on social media. And not because of his health scare, but because he’s a human who was just trying to do his job.
Stand by it
Kelsey Plum is one of the more enjoyable professional athletes to cover in Las Vegas because she can be engaging and thoughtful with her answers. She also doesn’t mind calling out a bad or poorly-phrased question, which keeps reporters on their toes.
It doesn’t hurt that she’s entertaining and willing to be outspoken instead of speaking in cliches or that she’s successful and popular.
But her backtracking and blaming of the media after her comments about the Liberty this week were somewhat disappointing.
After helping pull off a remarkable feat by helping the Aces to a second-consecutive WNBA title, Plum made some comments that could be construed as a shot against the Liberty.
Several outlets aired or wrote out her answer in its entirety. Unsurprisingly, the Liberty fired back. Jonquel Jones even called her “classless.”
So Plum did the predictable athlete thing and blamed the “media,” as if it’s a monolith, for taking her out of context.
By running her quote in its entirety? I’m confused.
Anyway, Plum was correct and perfectly within her rights to say what she said. It just would have been better to stand behind it than falsely deflect blame.
She’s far too good for that.