If you weren’t forced to read Lord of the Flies in junior high or high school, here’s a brief summary: kids survive a plane crash on an island.  They attempt to form something of a society to survive and get rescued, and it almost immediately goes awry. Eventually, they turn on each other with several of the kids dying before they’re rescued.

On Monday, in his weekly Football Morning in America column for NBC Sports, Peter King quoted a “person close to [Drew] Brees,” describing a variety of sports personalities (including several current and former Brees teammates) as reminding him of “Lord of the Flies”.

Predictably, that reference was edited out of the column once people started noticing, but it was preserved online.

In the column as it currently exists online, the 3:35 PM blurb now ends with the sentence about Jenkins’ Instagram post.

3:35 p.m. Today’s sports culture is interesting. Instead of reaching out to Brees and saying, Hey, that’s insulting to us, teammates and foes alike killed Brees on social media—first wideout Michael Thomas, then safety Malcolm Jenkins, finally LeBron James. Brees got flash-bombed everywhere. “Sometimes you need to shut the f— up,” said teammate and Players Coalition leader Malcolm Jenkins, in an Instagram post he later deleted.

And here’s what was deleted, in case you didn’t feel like clicking the above tweet to get the full screengrab.

As one person close to Brees told me, the social-media rip jobs reminded him of “Lord of the Flies.” In that book, normal British boys get stranded on a desert island and have to fend for themselves, and they spiral into savagery to survive. Sounds about right.

While the Lord of the Flies reference from the Brees-centric source wasn’t great, King’s postscript was worse. The implication that Brees is normal (and the players who called him out are not) is shitty. Equating social media criticism of Brees with “savagery” (a word with some less than ideal racial connotations) is even shittier.

Several people criticized that part of King’s column on Twitter.

Nearly 12 hours after the column went live (and after tweeting it out and getting thrashed with criticism *three separate times*), King tweeted that the awful Lord of the Flies comparison had been deleted, apologizing and saying that he’ll “be more conscious about the full meaning of analogies.”

This is less about the “full meaning of analogies,” and more about just not knowing what the hell you’re talking about. If you can’t understand an analogy, don’t use it. If you’re talking about racial politics, REALLY DON’T use coded language like “savagery” when trying to describe the shitty analogy.

I can’t believe this is so complicated, but here we are.

About Joe Lucia

I'm the managing editor of Awful Announcing and the news editor of The Comeback. I also made The Outside Corner a thing for six seasons.