I haven’t done anything sports related for a while. This story is interesting not for what happened but for the athlete’s take on the event that transpired.
ESPN reports on Adalius Thomas of the New England Patriots being benched for speaking about about his team disciplining him for being late to a team meeting:
New England Patriots outside linebacker Adalius Thomas, who was disciplined for being late for a team meeting earlier this week and spoke out about it, was benched for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.
Apparently, his tardiness was due to the weather. At least that’s what Adailus told ESPN; while he was at it he threw in some more colorful commentary:
“That’s one thing about Mother Nature, you can’t control that. You can’t run people over getting to work… It’s not the Jetsons, I can’t jump up and just fly. What the heck am I supposed to do?”
And then later:
“Sending somebody home, that’s like, ‘He’s expelled, come back and make good grades.’ Get that [expletive] out of here. That’s ridiculous. Motivation?”
In summary, Adailus’s concern is with the assumption that his tardiness or absence was unexcused or unexcusable. It is certainly credible to me that the commute to the practice facility might involve a bit of travel through snow, this being the greater Boston area we’re talking about. (That excuse normally woudln’t fly in, say, Houston.)
While Bill Belichick has every right to run his team the way he sees fit, I have to question the wisdom of just sending players home due to tardiness that is not their fault. It’s just going to take a few minutes extra for the players to arrive when it’s snowing.
Really, it’s the same as any other job. That’s something the football-watching public forgets, way too often. I think most employers would be much more understanding and fair about weather-related tardiness.