The Internet has certainly helped sports fans get a peak behind the curtain into the lives and personalities of their favorite athletes.
But for the athletes, being as open as some are has caused some issues that simply wouldn’t have existed even just 10 years ago.
Issues like those that this NFL running back is facing after he sent out a tweet he quickly regretted, even if he now claims he doesn’t regret what the tweet actually said.
From 2014 to 2017, Le’Veon Bell was one of the best running backs in football, and it seemed like that would remain the case for years to come.
However, after he turned down a $15 million per year contract to remain with the team who drafted him in the second round, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and refused to sign any contract with the team that wasn’t exactly what he wanted – even if it was completely unrealistic – Bell sat out through the first nine games of 2018 making himself ineligible for the season.
From there, the Steelers finally had enough and cut ties with him, leading Bell to sign with the New York Jets on a four-year $52.5 million deal that ultimately proved to be an atrocious deal for the team as Bell was a total bust.
But, of course, Bell wasn’t going to take responsibility for his downfall, and ended up “liking” a Tweet that said the Jets should trade him, even if roughly zero teams would have traded for him considering his total lack of production and monstrosity of a contract.
In the end, he ended up being flat out cut by the Jets who decided they’d rather swallow the financial losses than continue to deal with him, leading Bell to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs on a one-year deal worth less than $2 million – a deal much more in line with his actual value at the time.
For the Chiefs, Bell failed once again to be even remotely productive, even though he was part of the most prolific offense in the NFL, and became a free agent this offseason.
And despite the fact that the Chiefs were one of the only teams who were willing to take a chance on Bell last season after all of his on and off-field issues, Bell decided to not only burn that bridge, but blow it to smithereens.
On Sunday, Bell decided rather randomly to post on Instagram that he would rather retire than ever play for Chiefs coach Andy Reid again.
“I’ll never play for Andy Reid again . . . I’d retire first,” Bell wrote on Instagram.
For a guy who has had all the issues that Bell has, to completely dismiss as an option not only one of the best teams in football, but one of the only teams who would probably be willing to sign him was a bold move.
So less than a day later, Bell decided to apologize for posting that comment for the world to see, saying he regrets putting that out into the public.
However, he simply couldn’t help himself and basically went on a Twitter rant against anyone who had a problem with what he said, and also made clear that he doesn’t regret what he actually said, because it’s how he really feels.
It’s never been revealed what the issue Bell has with Reid – one of the coaches most beloved by players who’ve played for him – but his Tweets obviously referenced something Reid “said” to him.
Most likely, it was nothing that would have caused this big of an issue for most players, but Le’Veon Bell clearly seems to be one of those guys who can’t help but be offended by even the slightest hint of what he believes is “disrespect,” even if he hasn’t earned actual respect.
It’s extremely difficult for anyone to say that Le’Veon Bell has handled any of the situations he’s been in over the past four or so years correctly – he flat out hasn’t.
He’s burned bridges, been an issue for teams, made unrealistic demands, refused to play for multiple teams, had injury issues, been arrested, and been suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
And even when he’s given multiple chances, he hasn’t performed on the field and he has ultimately destroyed his chance of remaining with any team he’s played for.
There’s no doubt he was talented, and probably still has something left in the tank, so some teams would be willing take a chance on the potential that could still be a productive player in the right circumstances.
But it’s reached the point where the chance of him producing at even a slightly above average level is completely outweighed by the virtual certainty that he will be a major problem.
Obviously, Bell either doesn’t understand that, or he’s simply content with living off the money he basically stole from the Jets after not producing in the slightest and being an issue for the team.
It’s always sad to see talented athletes not be able to have the type of careers they were capable of having for things that are out of their control.
But there is no way to have any sympathy for Le’Veon Bell when he is the reason he wasn’t able to have a great career, and he’s the reason he’ll ultimately be forgotten about within a few years time.
He made his bed, and now he’s going to have to lie in it.
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.