Thursday, October 1, 2020

Did Janoris Jenkins and the Saints receive some bad football karma?

January 8, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( We are less than a couple weeks into 2020 and football fans have already witnessed some exhilarating NFL playoff games. Wild Card weekend had plenty of action, drama, upsets, and mistakes and a lot of viewers tuned in to watch it. Perhaps the biggest upset of the entire NFL playoffs thus far is the Minnesota Vikings defeating the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans in overtime. The Saints were considered one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl and their early round exit is shocking. It also happened after one of their newest player additions of former  New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins has been in the news cycle in the past month for non-football related stories so it begs people to wonder whether he and the Saints received some bad football karma by coming together?

Janoris Jenkins is a 31 year old cornerback who began the 2019 NFL season with the New York Giants. Despite being a star player in college, he fell to the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft because of off-field concerns. In 2009, while Jenkins was in college at the University of Florida, he got into a physical altercation with a man near a bar. He was eventually kicked off the University of Florida football team for repeated drug related arrests and his reputation ended up hurting his chances of being drafted in the first round. Since he has been in the NFL, Jenkins was able to avoid off-the-field situations with the then-St. Louis Rams and was rewarded as a free agent in 2016 with a five-year, $62.5 million contract with the New York Giants, including $28.80 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $10.00 million.

Jenkins also earned his first and only Pro Bowl berth, acknowledgement of the NFL’s best players that season, in 2016, and was viewed as one of the reasons the New York Giants defense improved in helping the team make the playoffs. Interestingly, as the performance of Jenkins slipped in the seasons following the 2016 NFL season, so had the Giants’ defense and win totals. Unfortunately, Janoris Jenkins might be remembered for his exit from the Giants moreso than his Pro Bowl with them because of the way he conducted himself prior to his departure.

On December 13, 2019, Janoris Jenkins was released from the New York Giants days after tweeting at a fan, “I can only do my job.. retard”, after a fan was critiquing Jenkins’ play. Prior to his release, Jenkins met with the Giants’ head coach and Jenkins responded to the reaction of the offensive term he used by saying to the media, “Where I’m from, we use all kind of words for slang. If it offends anybody, I’m sorry. It’s a culture that I grew up in where I’m from, you know what I’m saying. We use all kinds of words for all kinds of slang. If you don’t know, it’s a ‘hood thing. Whatever. I’m not calling nobody no name or pick at nobody. It’s just something we use in the hood back at home.”

The ridiculousness of the word, “retard” being a “hood thing”, is absurd enough but then Jenkins doubled down on his use of the word one day prior to being released by saying, “I regret it. But at the end of the day, it’s my slang. So if you take it how you’re going to take it, it’s on you. I don’t mean to offend nobody. My dad always told me, ‘Speak freely and own up to what you say.’ So I always speak freely as a man, and I speak how I want to speak.” It seemed only after his release that Janoris Jenkins was contrite about a dated term. When he was picked up by the Saints, he greatly upgraded his team from one that was not going to the playoffs to one team that had a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl.  All of that ended as the Saints lost, and Jenkins needs to understand that the word he used is as dated as calling black people ‘colored’. He might not have received football ‘karma’ but he now has time to think about how his responses to his words were so over-the-top.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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