This One Hits Home, Who Are We To Judge?

Josh Brent’s appearance in last Sunday’s game has media and fans in an uproar.  My opinion on this subject may surprise many people who know me personally, or it may not. I shared a good friend’s view of the subject matter on our Facebook page on Monday and it got a good share of responses for and against. At first I wasn’t sure about my stance on the situation. In case you’ve been living under a rock for 10 days or just not up on the times let me get you up to date.

Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent and practice squad player Jerry Brown were in a devastating car accident together on December 8th. Brent was driving under the influence of alcohol and wrecked the car, and his best friend Jerry Brown was killed. Brent has been charged with manslaughter. Surprisingly, Brent was spotted on the sidelines of the game on Sunday, Dec. 16 during the home game vs. Pittsburgh.

Now let me share with you my friend Nate Trumble’s status that I posted on Facebook and Twitter the day after the game:

Hey NFL, you trot rapists (Roethlesburger) dog killers (Vick) and murderers (Ray Lewis) out on the field every week. The Cowboys put Josh Brent on the sideline yesterday and you call it disgraceful??? It was his mother’s wish for the team to be with him…To support him…The kid needs family right now and the Cowboys ARE HIS FAMILY!!! It does not send a message to kids that drunk driving is ok…It says his family will support him through this awful tragedy…Brent made a terrible CHOICE…Im not saying what he did wasnt wrong, but some people need to get off their soap-box…It was the Cowboys family supporting one of their own…period…end of rant… – Nate Trumble Current Dallas Cowboys News and Discussion

Many people believe that we are condoning drunk driving. That is not the case at all. We are supporting family and friends and standing behind someone you love and care for in their most desperate time of need. Look, I’ve been on the outside looking in at close family members and friends who chose to drink and drive and had to face the consequences. I don’t drink and am strongly against anyone who chooses to get behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking or doing drugs. I am also a strict law abiding citizen and always follow the rules and believe heavily in karma. Not that I don’t make mistakes, but I always try to make the right and moral decision.

Getting in that car after a night of drinking was the wrong decision for both men. Jerry Brown lost his life [May he rest in peace] and Josh Brent lost his best friend, his career, everything. I want to make it clear that I am not sticking up for Brent. He is clearly guilty and in the wrong and will carry this for the rest of his life and beyond. I’ve read articles that say he will face prison and some say he could get off with probation. But I am not judge nor jury and my opinion is just that, my own. It means nothing. And if you’re a Christian or of a faith that believes in a higher power, you too know that his judgement day will come.

Tonight I read this article on CBS Sports that completely choked me up and provoked me to do something I haven’t done in quite some time, share my feelings here. I would like to share parts of it with you, and encourage you to go read it for yourself. According to this article Josh Brent will not be seen again on the Cowboys sidelines. Ever.

Brent deserves prison, but getting banned from sideline is cruel

Josh Brent won’t be on the sideline Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys’ home finale. Satisfied? That’s what you wanted, right?

That’s what the Cowboys reportedly want — they want Brent banished from the sidelines, hidden from nosy TV cameras and shrieking TV analysts. At least, I hope it’s what the Cowboys want. I hope they’re not merely bowing to pressure from people who don’t matter.

People like you. And me. This whole story is emotional and awful and centered around an issue, drunk driving, that affects many of us — but Josh Brent’s sideline plans aren’t my business. Or yours.

As Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett learned later, Brent was there because he’d been asked to be there by his teammates.

The author goes on to explain what he believes Josh Brent deserves…

For drinking and driving and killing one person and jeopardizing the safety of everyone who shared a road with him that night, Josh Brent deserves to go to prison.

He deserves other things as well. He deserves to be treated humanely, even kindly, especially by those who care about him. Look, few people in this world — Jerry Brown’s parents, but maybe nobody else — lost as much as Josh Brent lost on Dec. 8. He lost his best friend. He killed his best friend. He lost his dream career. He lost his freedom, most likely, after the courts are through with him. He lost his reputation. He lost damn near everything that night, and now we’re going to complain because he’s standing on the sideline a week later with his friends and teammates?

Brent was seen on the sidelines and called out by the game announcers and social media blew up!

The outrage was so loud and moving so fast, Brent heard it on the sideline … and left in the third quarter.

And now he won’t be back. The Cowboys have seen to that, though Brent probably wouldn’t have shown up Sunday against the Saints, not after what happened last weekend. But who knows? Maybe teammates were going to ask him, insist to him, that he come back. They’re closer to the situation than we are, and they know Jerry Brown’s parents would approve. Brown’s parents urged the Cowboys to support Brent in any way they see fit. Whatever Brent needs from the team that employed their son, Brown’s family wants the Cowboys to give it.

Who are we to say it’s wrong?

And here is where I started to choke up. Because he’s right!

I hear the “it sends the wrong message” argument, but think it through. If Josh Brent were on the sideline again Sunday, people would be talking about his story — which means talking about the dangers of drunk driving. That’s a conversation that can save lives. Maybe your kid’s life, years from now, if he were to ask you, “Why does everyone care if that man is on the sidelines?”

You could have told your kid why, and talked about what Josh Brent did Dec. 8. About drinking and driving. About the friend he killed.

And you could have told your kid about Josh Brent’s other friends, the ones supporting him through his lowest moments. That’s a great story, but one that will go untold.

We all have our opinion, and thanks to the internet and social media its broadcast loud and clear. Was Josh Brent’s appearance on the sideline wrong? It’s not really for me to say. I was definitely surprised and initially wasn’t sure what my opinion was about it. When I learned that Jerry Brown’s mother forgave Josh Brent, first I had much respect for her ability to forgive, God knows I probably couldn’t find the strength to find forgiveness that soon. Secondly, I felt pride in my team and their love and support for one of their own. Lastly, I felt sad for the player who would never take that field, would never wear the helmet with that beautiful star again, who’s life was taken way to soon.

Tragedies are way too common for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans. We will get past this one, as we have many others, and go on to enjoy life and the game of football but Jerry and Josh won’t. May God bless their loved ones and be with them both. Let Him be the judge.

Please, don’t drive if you’ve been drinking. Go Cowboys!

 

Comments
  1. DeAnna Horn

    Well said…you have so much empathy ;and that is beautiful.