New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson scored a 48 on the Wonderlic test, making him, along with Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the smartest guy in the NFL according to the predraft intelligence gauge. Anyone doubting the man’s brains, or the test’s ability to judge them, should immediately read Watson’s observations–before you read anything more here–on the killing of Michael Brown, the backlash against Darren Wilson, the looting in Ferguson, and so much more.
Watson posted a piece on Facebook outlining the range of contradictory emotions the Missouri grand jury’s decision unleashed in him. It’s insightful. It’s provocative. It’s profound.
The former Patriots and Browns tight end explains that he’s angry at the injustice of Brown’s death but at the same time sympathetic to Wilson because he doesn’t know exactly what happened. “I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment,” he writes. “I’M INTROSPECTIVE,” he continues, “because sometimes I want to take ‘our’ side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at.” He concedes that he’s confused why it’s so hard for some to obey a policeman and offended why bad situations compel others to make them worse through racist comments.
Watson expresses hopelessness and hope, finally delivering a punchline worthy of Eddie Murphy, a twist worthy of Alfred Hitchcock, and a mouth-agape thought provocation worthy of Socrates–or at least Paul Harvey–all in one paragraph.
I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through…his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.
Whereas Lions running back Reggie Bush posted cliches (“History is repeating itself! When is enough enough?”) and Lakers star Kobe Bryant allowed Al Sharpton to play his social-media ventriloquist (“The system enables young black men to be killed behind the mask of law”), the Saints tight end went Drew Brees-deep.
Ben Watson, on the downside of an 11-year long NFL career, has caught just eleven balls this season. Ben Watson, on the upside of perhaps another career, has grabbed, as of this posting, 303,256 shares on Facebook.