You don’t see opposing NFL players go to bat for each very often these days. But Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling couldn’t help but defend Ravens superstar Lamar Jackson because of Shannon Sharpe‘s criticism.
A video of Jackson playing football on a concrete basketball court went viral last week. Sharpe is one of many who critiqued the NFL quarterback for risking getting injured on a dangerous court.
“Lamar, you’re on the verge of getting generational wealth,” Sharpe said, via BR Gridiron. “Why risk it? It’s not worth it. Don’t mess your money up.”
Sharpe isn’t wrong. One wrong turn or slip and Jackson could have suffered a serious injury. Valdes-Scantling offered a different perspective, though, highlighting how Jackson’s willingness to play some football with strangers could have a major impact in years to come.
“Because he wants to go back and bet the guy that he never saw as a kid,” Valdes-Scantling responded. “…Could change a kids life. Bigger than chasing a check when you are a genuine person that cares about the youth.”
Neither Shannon Sharpe or Marquez Valdes-Scantling are necessarily wrong here. In fact, they’re probably both right.
Lamar Jackson is free to choose how he wants to spend his offseason, but he’s also responsible for keeping himself healthy. One mistake could cost him millions upon millions of dollars. But there’s no doubt his willingness to spend time with adolescents could have a positive effect.
Regardless, no one needs to be telling Jackson what to do. He’s a 24-year-old NFL quarterback capable of making his own decisions.
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