On Saturday, May 19, while Detroit Lions' franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford was spending $15,000 at a charity auction, in order to give a sick child and her family the trip of a lifetime, one of his biggest projected targets was drawing the ire of upper management.
First reported by MLive.com's Anwar Richardson, during last week's voluntary workouts, wide receiver Titus Young and safety Louis Delmas got into a battle of words which resulted in Young hurling a "sucker punch" on his teammate. In the aftermath, other teammates pulled Young from the situation. The incident received little publication until May 21, as the Lions announced Young would net be allowed to enter the facility for organized team activities, which were slated to begin.
Hot on the heels of the drug-involved incidents of Mikel Leshoure, Jhonny Culbreath and Nick Fairley, the last thing the Lions needed was an ill-timed, asinine display of cowardice, such as that delivered by Young. They've quickly put together a team capable of shedding the moniker gained over two decades of failures, touching a miniscule piece of their potential, as they reached the postseason last year. Though Young was an important part of their resurgence, the obvious immaturity he and some of his fellow teammates have shown could hinder any further development.
Despite having garnered the fourth-highest touchdown total in franchise history, last season, Young's reputation has followed him throughout his collegiate career. His staggering annoyance of Boise State head coach Chris Peterson, in 2010, was well-documented. Apparently, he hasn't learned what being a "professional athlete" truly entails.
While a scuffle due to the emotions of a hotly-contested competition can be expected and respected, a line must be drawn by Lions' management, when cheaply-issued retaliation drags the squad into an early hole of media misfortune.
Whether Young is allowed to resume activities with the team remains to be seen. His actions have shown, however, through a continuous trail of incidents, even the fame, glory and financial security gained by being considered an elite athlete cannot eliminate the attitude some athletes continue to exhibit.
The Detroit Lions now have some deep-seeded issues to hash out. Most notably, instead of focusing on improving their overall performance, they will be handling public relations nightmares, involving a young receiver with a "Napoleon Complex" and several others with personal relationships with their illegitimate mistress, "Mary Jane."
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers , Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and University of Notre Dame football.