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Shutdown Corner

T.O. suggests racism is reason for different reactions to Dez Bryant, Tom Brady sideline blowups

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

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Terrell Owens (USA Today Sports Images)

Terrell Owens has something to say about Dez Bryant and Tom Brady. Grab yer popcorn.

Owens spoke with Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman on Monday and raised what certainly could be a hot topic of debate, as it relates to perception and reality.

Interesting question. If you saw Monday night here on Shutdown Corner, we ran a video showing Dez Bryant's "outburst" on the sideline of Sunday's Dallas Cowboys loss to the Detroit Lions, only with what you did not hear during the original broadcast. What we heard was not so bad at all. Meanwhile, a few times this season, Brady has been seen berating his New England Patriots teammates — we surmise, and look where that got us with Dez — for their performance during some tough times.

So Owens raises a provoking question. He's suggesting that white players who yell are passionate leaders and black players are selfish, me-first guys. That's what he's saying, right?

Look, who really has an answer for this? Is this the majority of people saying this? Was I, for instance, wrong for reactively saying that neither Brady nor Bryant looked too constrained when they blew up? Perhaps, as I didn't know the whole story, and I never will. Even with the 100-second Bryant video with sound. At some point, we have to go off what we see, otherwise why bother even talking about this stuff?

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Also worth noting: Brady apologized for his behavior, which suggests he had something to be sorry for. Bryant's claims backed up what the partial video seems to show us: He's a passionate (and I'll add immature) player who wants to win badly. Are both guys wholly bad or wholly good? No. Is this solely a racially divided issue, as clear as black and white? Of course not.

Brady has built up more than a decade of goodwill, while Bryant is trying to find his way. Let's not even get into their upbringings, because one was not like the other. Brady is a symbol for the NFL, despite being very private. Bryant, also guarded, is a young man who appears to have a huge heart and appears to mostly be doing the right things after getting in some early trouble in the league.

But here is what we're certain of: Owens loves the spotlight, will say anything to grab it and has no problem saying what others will not, right or wrong. That's where the story takes a turn. It's T.O. He's out of the league and likely not happy about it. If we truly felt that Owens had Bryant's best interests in mind (per this quote) ...

... then we'd likely think harder about the challenging words he said, and not the person whose mouth they came out of.

It's unfair to praise Brady unconditionally, even when he makes mistakes. It's wrong to judge Bryant for what might not have been a mistake, based on his background. But this much, I feel safe saying, is true: We've seen enough of Owens to know what his motivation is, and it's self-serving.

Take that for what it's worth in this thorny issue.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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