As a fan of the Denver Broncos, odds are, at some point since the coronavirus triggered state governments across America to order lock-downs, you probably got a little stir-crazy.
Call it c̶a̶b̶i̶n̶ quarantine fever.
It’s human nature. When cooped up for an extended period of time, we can get frustrated and tempers can boil over. Anyone who’s spent even a little time on social media since March will agree that people have been understandably temperamental.
Throw in all the fear that has permeated the landscape, and the fact that the virus has become a hot-button political issue with some people seeming to take political stances, and the current discussion on social media only gets exacerbated. Broncos players aren’t immune to the sad state of affairs as evidenced by the Twitter dust-up between CB Davontae Harris and DL Shelby Harris on Friday.
It all began with this tweet from Davontae.
That particular quip didn’t sit right with Shelby, who responded with regrettable acerbity.
As an NFL defensive back, it’s not in Davontae’s nature to back down. Davontae’s initial response was surprisingly restrained, however. By the time it was all said and done, both players likely regretted their conduct, even though it wasn’t exactly Twitter fisticuffs.
Rather than narrate the entire exchange, here’s a screenshot.
What it Means
Regardless of one’s stance on the wearing of masks, one thing is clear; these two world-class athletes need to get back on the field, blow off some steam, and get back to the business of playing football.
A little friendly-fire like this on Twitter is unlikely to cause any sort of lasting rift in the Broncos’ locker room, but it still isn’t good. I’m not going to make a mountain out of a molehill but the exchange is notable for a reason.
The problem is, these teammates can’t return to the Broncos’ UC Health Training Center for at least a few weeks yet. Brittany Bowlen has spearheaded the team’s effort to get up to ‘corona code‘, if you will, laying the safety groundwork so that front-office executives, employees, trainers, coaches, and players can eventually return to the facilities.
The expectation is that GM John Elway and his front-office staff will be able to return next week on March 25. Players and coaches, however, will be prohibited from joining them until the NFL gives the green light.
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See, because some states are still locked down and businesses deemed ‘non-essential’ by the state are required to remain shuttered, NFL teams that are headquartered in those states have to abide by the same rules. So, as far as the NFL front office is concerned, until all NFL players and coaches can return to facilities without being in violation of state executive orders, no NFL players and coaches will be allowed to.
It’s how Commissioner Roger Goodell, representing the 32 owners of the NFL, is striving to maintain ‘competitive balance’. The hope is that sometime in June, all 50 U.S. states will be on equal footing and allowed by their respective governors to return to work, even if it means observing ‘social distancing’ guidelines of a sort initially.
In the meantime, maybe Shelby and Davontae can get together and grab a coffee, or better yet, a workout and mend any possible fences that might have been bruised by this exchange. No doubt, when the two finally hit the field of battle together when the football season rolls around, this Twitter dust-up will be nothing but water under the bridge.
Shelby is entering his fourth year with the Broncos and just re-signed on a one-year deal in March. Davontae joined the Broncos on the doorstep of the season-opener last year after the team had claimed him off waivers from Cincinnati.
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