I presume that Warren Sapp was just spouting off the cuff when he called Brandon Marshall a "retard" on The Dan Patrick Show. I highly doubt this was some pre-planned insult that Sapp was holding onto for the right moment to appear. His word choice was poor given the current climate surrounding that term, but I think it was conceptually wrong, not just in its political incorrectness.
The crux of Sapp's whole argument is that young players these days just don't respect the game (or the past) like they should. While there are plenty of examples of that being the case, to blanket all the young players in the league by proclaiming a "back in my day" statement is doing injustice to the players here in the present. I am of the mind that it is of equal insult to pay injustice to the present as it is to the past. Brandon Marshall is definitely not the perfect NFL citizen. However, if criticism of that is to come from someone, Warren Sapp appears nowhere within shouting distance of the top of that list.
Marshall picked up on that. And that's the route he chose to take when crafting his response to Sapp's insult: "That's really disappointing to hear that from an NFL legend, but I'm going to take this as a lesson, and I think we can all learn from this: Be very careful who you take advice from. You want to surround yourself with good people, Godly people. When I look at Warren Sapp, I can't go to him and talk about finances because he filed for bankruptcy. I can't go to him and talk about my marriage because he filed for divorce. I can't go to him and talk to about being a great father when one day I have children because he's not active in his children's life." I don't know if I'd call that response "taking the high road" as Around the League's Kareem Copeland states, but I believe it is what we irreverent youth would refer to as; "Burned."
I think "taking the high road" would have involved not responding at all. However, I'm glad Marshall didn't escalate the situation. His response reminded me of an argument when one person is furious and yelling while the other person chooses to talk in a calm manner much to chagrin of the other. Sapp spouted off and Marshall gave a carefully crafted response that probably hit a lot closer to the bone than Sapp's did.
Really, I'd imagine we all should care about what Warren Sapp says about as much as you should care what I have to say. That is to say you shouldn't care one iota, and neither should Brandon Marshall.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.
- Warren Sapp
- Brandon Marshall