How Stupid Do You Have to Be?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Imagine you sign a contract that is worth several million dollars. For this money, all you have to do is do something you love to do anyway. The only restriction is that you don't do anything crazy off the job and get yourself physically injured so that you are unable to perform your job. Even if you get hurt on the job, you will still receive the money due you and insurance will cover most anything else. Explicitly in this contract it states you can't do overly dangerous things like hang glide, sky dive, or ride a motorcycle, at least without the explicit permission of the other party. Now would you go and ride the bike?

I know I wouldn't. At the very least, I might attempt to get the permission of the other party but even if they said no, I'm certainly not risking several million dollars for the thrill and excitement of riding a bike. Well that is exactly what Kevin Winslow of the Cleveland Browns did when he got on a motorcycle and crashed, possibly ending his career and putting his contract in jeopardy.

Some are giving him a lot of sympathy. They point out that he is young and stupid and that he didn't know any better. While I certainly don't wish anyone to be injured, especially seriously, at what point does "He is young and stupid?" stop working? Kevin Winslow is almost 22 years old, he is playing a man's game. When does he have to take a man's responsibility?

Some argue that the Browns should do the nice thing and let him keep his money. After all, aren't they rich and can't they afford it? I really hate this argument. I really don't care how much money anyone has. The Cleveland Browns made a huge investment in Kevin Winslow. He was a first round draft pick, 6th overall. First round draft picks are vital to the success of an NFL franchise and Kevin Winslow betrayed the faith the Browns put him in by getting on that motorcycle. He made the decision, he made the error, and now he should live with the consequences.

Of course there is a double standard here. He has lots of talent and so the Browns will probably forgive him if his injuries turn out to not be that serious. Reminds me of how in High School when I was on the basketball team the best players could get away with murder. They could show up late, be lazy during practice, and just get away with it while the rest of us had to tow the line or else. Even being on the short end of the stick, I understood it then and I will understand it now if that is how the Browns decide to handle it. Completely unfair, but life is hardly if ever fair.


Anonymous said...

I agree. What's the point of having a contract if you don't enforce it. Young and stupid is irrelevant. he's competant enough to sign a contract; it is binding.

Amanda said...

I'm with John, anyone who is legally able to sign a contract on their own behalf has the responsibility to know the terms they've signed, and the consequences of breaking those terms. That guy was dumb, and as sad as he may be about losing all that money, it's nobody's fault but his own.

Anonymous said...

i hope your joking when you call him kevin winslow

T said...

yeah, I realized I spelled the name wrong shortly after I posted. But in the end, decided to just keep my post the way it is. Most people get the idea.