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Wednesday open thread: Are you okay with Calvin Johnson speaking out against Lions?

Should Calvin be free to say what he wants or should he shut up?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday saw old wounds ripped back open when we found video of Calvin Johnson slamming his old team in front of Italian media for Italian Bowl XXXVII. Just two months after tearing into the team for ending things in a way that left him unhappy, Johnson doubled down.

“If I was to keep playing, I would have to play in Detroit, and that just wasn’t for me anymore,” Johnson said. Perhaps the most revealing thing Megatron told the media was that the Detroit Lions’ lack of competitiveness was part of the reason he retired. “I didn’t see a chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time,” Johnson said. “And for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall.”

This directly contradicts what Johnson said just over a year ago. "I wouldn’t just quit because we were losing," Johnson told the Detroit Free Press. "It was just body. I was just tired of it, fed up. Just had enough."

Johnson’s words have had Lions fans up in arms. For a player that was so quiet and reserved during his playing career, some believe Johnson is simply trying to stay in the limelight now that his football career is over. Others simply believe Calvin is finally free to be himself, and he’s earned every right to do so. Others just wish Johnson would keep quiet if he’s got nothing nice to say. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Are you okay with Calvin Johnson speaking out against the Lions

My answer: Let’s get one thing straight first: I do not agree with everything Johnson said. First, I think it’s unfair for him to describe his situation with the Lions as “stuck in Detroit.” Johnson agreed to a seven-year extension with the Lions in 2012. He got paid a ton of money, and as a result, he was to remain a Lion. That’s how contracts work, and that’s what Calvin agreed upon. He shouldn’t expect the team to let him go or seek a trade if they don’t want to. That sort of thing doesn’t happen in football as much as it does in other sports.

Additionally, I don’t agree with Calvin’s assessment that Detroit didn’t have a chance to win a Super Bowl during his career there. Obviously they hadn’t even won as much as a playoff game, but that 2014 team was extremely talented, and teams can pull themselves together very quickly to make a Super Bowl run. Even without a very talented roster, Detroit managed to make the playoffs in their first year without Johnson, and who knows where things can go from there?

But, to those that think Calvin is running is mouth for attention or simply to bury the organization, I just don’t agree. I think we’re all just seeing Johnson honest for the first time and it’s a little jarring. But if you watch the Italian interview, Johnson doesn’t go out of his way to trash the Lions, nor does he have a particularly spiteful tone. He’s just honestly answering the questions he was asked now that he has the freedom to do so without rocking the boat from inside the organization.

As painful as it is to hear Johnson say some sad things about our favorite team, I fully support him being able to say whatever he wants to whoever he wants.

Your turn.


Are you okay with Calvin Johnson publicly discussing his problems with the Lions?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    No, he owes it to the Lions to keep that stuff private
    (603 votes)
  • 56%
    Yes, he’s no longer in the league, he can say and do as he pleases
    (777 votes)
1380 votes total Vote Now

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