Dez Bryant is Being Assaulted by the Media


When the news that Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant had agreed to  “strict guidelines from team officials” was first reported by ESPN, my initial thought was, “Who cares? So what? Is this the kind of news that a Dallas Cowboys Junkie needs?”

Then the ‘media’ felt the need to report the story, and immediately “guidelines” forever morphed into “rules”. Then anyone with access to a keyboard and the internet chimed in their condemnations of Bryant. Drew Pearson lamented how pitiful it was that a 23 year old professional athlete needed such supervision. Then the popular headline became that Dez needed a babysitter.

The whole thing has left me with a bunch of questions:

– Why didn’t any of the professional journalists seek to clarify whether the agreement is a set of “rules” or “guidelines”? The difference is significant.

– How much easier would Bryant’s life be if he had been drafted by the Bills or Browns where he wouldn’t get all this attention?

– Why did almost every person who commented on the ‘story’ have to enumerate every negative incident Bryant’s been involved in, but none of them felt it was relevant to point out that Dez has never had any issues involving drugs or violence (the incident from this summer will be addressed)?

Why didn’t they include some details of the charity work Dez does, or note that he has improved significantly this year in terms of being prepared, doing his homework, and attending everything on time?

– Why did most of the headlines feature the “no booze” and “no strip clubs” rules, but not report that he also agreed to attend counselling sessions twice a week?

– How is the prohibition of strip clubs more newsworthy than an adult who accepts the fact that they can benefit from professional counseling?

– Why did no one ever say: “Hey, maybe this is exactly the kind of structure and guidance that this kid needs to aquire the skills he needs to be successful”?

– Why did no one applaud the decision to get Dez some counselling, or his decision to participate? Isn’t that one of the best things he could do?

– Why has no one felt the need to get more information about what Jerry Jones meant when he said that stricter rules have been imposed on previous players?

– Why did no one say, “Obviously Dez can’t be that bad if other players have had stricter rules?”

– Why did it take three freakin days for anyone to report that Dez Bryant and his people were the ones that initated the process that led to the guidelines?

– Everyone was quick to ridicule Dez Bryant for having “rules imposed” on him, so why are so few of them publicly acknowledging that it may have been Dez and his people who initiated the whole process?

– How many will consider saying:

“Maybe we should applaud Dez for realizing that he needed some guidelines and took some very wise first steps in accomplishing his goals by making a formal agreement with the club.”

After thinking about those specifics, I started thinking about the whole ordeal in general, and that left me with more questions:

– Why do people expect so much from Dez Bryant just because he is good at football?

Why don’t people look at the kid in light of where he comes from, and realize that many of the kids who come from similar backgrounds have done much worse things than Dez?  Martellus Bennett posted pictures of his junk on the Internet for Tom’s sake!!

– Why aren’t people congratulating Dez for living his whole life without getting into a real trouble?

– For all you Christians out there, why is everyone so quick to judge? Don’t throw stones!

Really, let’s look at Dez Bryant’s sins. How many of us can honestly say we haven’t done anything worse?

1. He lied to the NCAA about whether he had dinner with Deion Sanders. Who hasn’t told a lie that was worse?

2. He bought a bunch of bling (I think that means ‘jewelry'”) on credit, and then got sued for the payments. Millions of people get sued for credit card, student loans, and mortgage debt every year; many of them default on their loans. At least Dez eventually settled his debts.

3. The fact that the incident in the Dallas mall last offseason even made the national news proves the point that there is way too much attention on Dez Bryant.

4. The incident this summer with his Mother is admittedly much different than anything discussed above. If Dez did in fact assault his Mother, then I will take back everything I said above. Violence, particularly when perpetrated against a female, is never acceptable or tolerable or excusable under any circumstances.

The story did follow a similar path as the current one. The headline “Dez Bryant Assaults Mother” was everywhere. It took some time before there was any explanation that no one had suffered any injuries and that he had hit her with his cap. I make no judgments about this incident until all the facts are clear, other than to say that I recant everything if he in fact assaulted his Mom.

I work with a bunch of middle-aged white men. Most of them come from normal middle-class families. They all have multiple degrees from decent schools, and none of them have ever been in real trouble with the law or an employer. When I sent out an email listing Dez Bryant’s transgressions and asking them if they had ever done anything worse, over 20 of the 26 or so replied within an hour, usually laughing and saying, “of course I’ve done much worse.”

I am not trying to make excuses for Dez Bryant. He should pay for any and all mistakes and transgressions he commits just like the rest of us. But, I am suggesting that tolerance and understanding of Dez in light of his entire history is more appropriate than piling on more judgement and criticism.

Perhaps people should be happy that they do not have the media scrutinizing every aspect of their lives like a first round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys with a ‘history’.