“Jamo must learn to be a professional before he can dominate the NFL”
Maybe Detroit Lions rookie-acting wide receiver Jameson Williams fell asleep during the rookie symposium. Or maybe he zoned out the dozens of times coaches, outside staff and others laid down the ground rules for being an NFL player.
That is the only explanation of why Williams did not know gambling was a no-no inside an NFL facility. It’s the only way I’ll buy he did not know you cannot gamble inside an NFL facility.
Whether he zoned out or was knocked out, the bottom line is he won’t be in the Lions lineup for the first six games of the season after being suspended by the NFL for betting on non NFL games inside the Lions dressing room.
“I wasn’t aware of this situation. But it happened and I took it on the chin,” Williamson said. “I was sick. It’s not my last day living , so I just look forward to the better days, the next day, out here with my team, run some routes.”
Sadly, he threw the Lions under the bus. There are signs posted throughout NFL stadiums. No gambling. And the media is not to ask for autographs. That has been standard throughout my 30 plus year of covering sports.
Here is where the confusion could set in for Jamo. NFL dressing rooms are magnates for betting. Players don’t bet on games, but they bet on who will win table tennis games. They play high stakes card games. You know they do it in the dressing room.
They do it on the team plane and the team hotels.
Maybe Williams saw no harm in tinkering with his cell phone and putting a bet on Bama vs LSU.
But you can’t do that. He knew that. Even if he forgot later.
We all look forward to the days that Williams becomes a dominate receiver who pops the top of defenses. That will happen. However, first things first. Before he can conquer the NFL he must learn to conquer himself and become a professional.
That’s playing the game the right way. Living NFL life the right way. It’s knowing the rules and following the golden rules.
“I feel like I’ve got to prove a lot to myself, before I can prove anything to anyone else,” Williams said. “I’ve got goals I’ve set. I just want to knock off my goals list, get on the field, things like that. Hopefully, once those things come, fans will be pleased with how I play football.”
Let me defend Williams on two fronts. He is a modern day player who is part of the Instagram world. I disagree with fans who said he disrespected Jared Goff when he liked a post asking Lamar Jackson to be traded to the Lions. The reaction by fans was completely overblown.
You don’t give up on a guy for liking a tweet. Williamson is correct about one thing. Twitter is not the real world although people react and overreact to its contents.
We all must take a chill pill and learn to interact to one another. Jamo will never be the model citizen many of us want him to be. But he must understand that his breaks from the norm will come under a microscope and will lose him street cred with fans.
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: David Reginek – USA TODAY Sports