The first week of 2019 may go down as the week the entire sports media industry banded together to put out the absolute dumbest takes on the Antonio Brown situation. Whether it’s calling him “cowardly” over and over again or claiming this week is an example why he fell so far in the NFL Draft, people in the media are falling all over themselves to put out absolute drivel while at the same time trying to make themselves seem more moral than the rest of masses covering the hottest story of the NFL.
The latest bit of absurdity comes from NBC Sports’ Peter King, who in talking to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, revealed that he pulled his support for Antonio Brown in AP All-Pro voting earlier this week because Brown refused to play in the final game, which had playoff implications for the Steelers.
Peter King says he took Antonio Brown off of his All-Pro ballot because of his situation with the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/v4GwPmi0Ey
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) January 4, 2019
King revealed that when he submitted his ballot on Monday, Brown was one of three receivers King voted for, along with DeAndre Hopkins and Tyreek Hill. After revealing he “can’t in good conscience put a guy who took the equivalent of six percent of the season and flushed it down the toilet,” King went out of his way to pull his vote for Brown and give it to Michael Thomas instead.
King has the right to vote or not vote who he wants, and Michael Thomas is a perfectly fine choice. And he’s right: All-Pro voting is important. It may not be all that important to fans, but for some players, becoming an All-Pro may activate a bonus in a player’s contract.
At the same time, King could’ve quietly changed his vote, not drawn attention to himself, and his ballot of Hopkins, Hill, and Thomas wouldn’t have raised eyebrows. But by going on a soapbox like a politician, King wanted to make sure everyone knew he originally had Brown as his third choice, but was brave enough to climb to the moral high ground and take his name off the ballot after the NFL world learned of the behind the scenes drama in Pittsburgh. Even simply revealing that you changed your vote wouldn’t be that bad, but King all but cried like Helen Lovejoy yelling about how we need to think of the children.
Even if this were true and there was a moral obligation to not make Brown an All-Pro, King’s credibility on that topic disappears when your realize how much he defended Darren Sharper, who was then accused of serial rape and later convicted for 20 years. King claimed that Sharper should remain on the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot because voters are “asked to consider only on-field factors” (which the committee doesn’t do anyway) and tweeted, “If I said, “I will not consider Sharper for induction because he has been accused of multiple rapes,” I would resign from the committee.”
I’m not saying I can, but when those two issues are separated, someone could find the logic somewhere in there, and perhaps King actually has a point on each topic. When those two issues are put together, King looks like he doesn’t have his priorities straight and gives the unintentional implication that somehow, he’s more comfortable with Sharper’s heinous crimes off the field than Brown’s incidents in the locker room. It’s ludicrous to actually think King, or any person, can actually feel that way, but when you look at these two viewpoints next to each other, it’s easy to make that assumption.