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NFL Scout Criticized After Insensitive Comment

Football scout Chris Prescott was let go from his scouting position for the Chicago Bears after a quote from one of his media appearances went viral. "He’s a – what would we call it? – Ph.D.? Poor, hungry and desperate. Football is his life. This is this kid’s life. There’s a lot to like about that when you see a guy who’s so passionate about football.”

Prescott was referring to Bears draft pick Jaquan Brisker, a defensive back out of Penn State. Prescott meant it as a compliment, saying afterwards, "it’s how he communicates … you feel a tough, hard-nosed kid."

After his words were quoted on Twitter, an outcry of criticism welled up from people who felt that Prescott’s words were unnecessarily insensitive, bordering on dehumanizing. Mike Freeman of USA Today said, “If Prescott talks about players like this publicly, imagine what he says when out of view.” Freeman, who is African American, says that Prescott and other white NFL staffers and media members often communicate in ways that unintentionally devalue the humanity NFL football players, most of whom are Black.

Freeman said, “There's still a significant swath of the league that sees players as cattle, or worse, as things. What I'm about to say isn't specifically about Prescott. It's more of a general statement. Parts of the NFL see players as things that may have some elements of humanity, but not quite; somewhere between a robot and a shell of a man.”

Many current and former NFL players agree. Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin says there are times when he feels like “a zoo animal”:

I don’t know how to put this, but to some people, the NFL is basically modern-day slavery. Don’t get me wrong, we get paid a lot of money. There’s a sense of “shut up and play,” that this is entertainment for other people. Then, when we go out in public, we’re like zoo animals. We’re not human beings. I can’t go to the grocery store and just buy groceries like a normal person. It becomes an issue, a burden and so . . . I haven’t checked my mail in a while.

Possible Preaching Angle:

When we recognize the inherent dignity in everyone, we show them the respect that God intends for everyone.

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