Former NFL Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt has every reason to celebrate after striking a big cash deal with the Arizona Cardinals. But he found himself in the crosshairs of the pro-mask mob through a series of social media photos.
Watt sparked the first off-season tug of war in the NFL when the future defensive end of the Hall of Fame signaled he wanted to get out of the Houston Texans organization, which he had represented since entering the league in 2011.
The defensive powerhouse’s decision to end its association with the Texans is due to a major malaise within the team, in which star quarterback Deshaun Watson has also petitioned for new pastures.
But if Watt believed that signing the two-year contract that guaranteed him an income of at least $ 23 million throughout his contract would spell the end of his headlines in the NFL, he might have to reconsider after angry Twitter citizens had attacked him in a series of photos celebrating the move, appearing without a mask.
Watt announced the move by posting a photo on Twitter training in Cardinals gear and later uploading another set showing him on a runway next to Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill – who, Watt pointed out, is one is a licensed pilot.
Another picture showed Watt next to his wife Kealia, a US national soccer player who is fighting for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Some sensitive fans weren’t quite as sympathetic about Watt’s shots, pointing out that the 31-year-old star appeared to be ignoring the rules of social distancing and not wearing any face covering in any of the shots.
Do not wear masks or distance yourself during a pandemic. Don’t set good examples.
– Eileen Dwyer (@ EileenDwyer6) March 1, 2021
I always love watching the Twitter mask police fuck their own ass. Your fears are not our problem
– Rick F ** king Dalton (@ GMGTCom1052) March 2, 2021
Social media has exposed all the stupidity that goes into a person. Somehow these “Karens” find new ways to embarrass themselves
– Randlar (@mnkingsfan) March 1, 2021
Watt, along with virtually every other player in the NFL, underwent a series of Covid-19 tests over the course of the season.
Despite measures being taken to stop the virus from spreading, the infection broke out at the Texas facility in December – though it wasn’t as severe as those affecting the rosters of the likes of Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns in various parts of the country Campaign.
The response to Watt’s photos hints at the larger and ongoing culture war that is raging in sport about 13 months after the first confirmed death from Covid-19 in the United States.
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The sport remains severely restricted, which means that most large areas of the country continue to face restrictions on fan participation.
However, critics point out that the damage control methods are too harsh – as are the waves of outrage over social media that welcome images like Watt’s maskless footage.
Watt’s decision to go for Arizona ended a chase that saw roughly a third of the NFL’s 32 teams attempting to sign it, and one wonders if the Twitter brouhaha that has formed around him is at least partially grapes are not sour.
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