NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Lately, Janoris Jenkins has been a pretty popular guy, unfortunately, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Everyone is more than willing to pile on and vilify the guy without ever caring to hear the whole story, or truly think about some of his “transgressions.”
Just remember, every one of us has something in our past that would drop us on draft boards. And a lot of us are doing more important and responsible work than covering wide receivers.
So let us go through the facts real quick: three arrests, two for marijuana possession and one for fighting and resisting arrest.
Before anyone runs to the comments section and tells me I forgot about how many children he has with different women, I don’t care. Lets leave our personal moral beliefs out of this conversation. I can’t possibly see how having four kids with three mothers will affect his on-field play.
Lets dive into those facts now. In May of 2009, Jenkins got into a fight outside of a bar in Gainesville, Florida. Police saw him punch another man in the head, supposedly over someone trying to steal his gold chain. The police tased him as they saw the fight continue, and he ran.
Are we all going to pretend that we have never gotten into a fight? That no one we know or respect has ever gotten into a fight? That we have never thrown a punch?
Jenkins was 20 years old at the time, 20 year olds are immature. They punch people over gold chains. Jenkins was either unlucky, or made a poor decision that police happened to be watching. As for him running, we do not know if he knew the police were tasing him or that he thought that someone else had tased him. Jenkins has said he felt the taser and his first instinct was to run. We don’t know the facts. Running was not the best decision, but in a physical game, are we willing to not draft a guy because he got into a fight?
Onto the weed charges, the ones everyone makes a huge deal about without hearing the whole story. Jayson Braddock reported yesterday that his first arrest was for less than a gram of marijuana and it held a $351 dollar fine.
His second marijuana-related arrest came from the same police officer, who smelled weed in a car that Jenkins was a passenger in. The driver of the car allowed a search and they found a “roach” in the ash tray. Jenkins was not the driver and was the only person arrested from the car. That fine was for $416.
I will start with an obvious fact: lots of college athletes smoke weed. Plenty of NFL players smoke weed as well, and find ways around testing positive.
Now let me get something out there before I continue. I do not smoke, I never have. I don’t particularly have anything against it, and I certainly don’t have anything against the people who choose to, but I don’t personally do it. I won’t get into my reasons, but I just want to let it be known that I’m not the person who’s going to advocate legalization or decriminalization, I don’t care about those things, they don’t affect me.
Lets not pretend that Jenkins will be the first NFL player who got in trouble, or smoked weed in college. A recent report came out that Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes both failed drug tests in college. Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Santonio Holmes, Ricky Williams: all players who were rumored to or were caught smoking.
I guess the biggest problem here is that Jenkins was caught… twice. I call that unlucky while others say that it’s stupidity on his part. I’m personally not willing to call another human being stupid without personally knowing them.
I’m not going to be the guy to argue that alcohol and tobacco are just as harmful as marijuana, once again, because I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. Marijuana is illegal and alcohol and cigarettes are not. However, there’s a consensus top twenty wide receiver in this draft who’s been arrested twice for underage drinking (just as illegal as smoking pot) and once for a DUI (just as illegal and extremely dangerous) that hasn’t received half as much concern as Jenkins.
I also find that a lot of people condemning Jenkins are those that have not met him. I talked to Jenkins down at the Senior Bowl, and I found a person who was polite, nice, seemed apologetic for his actions and seemed intent on changing his persona. There were things to like and there were things to question, just like any other human being.