Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why The Brandon Banks Situation May Be Bad...

Redskins fans may have reason to worry; not about the state of the team and where a draft pick ends up or where the Redskins find their needs in Free Agency. We don’t have to worry about what Albert Haynesworth is doing and why it’s bad for the organization. There’s no pressing need to write about Clinton Portis and what he’s doing with his gimmicky costumes and how he’s not a team leader. We don’t need to worry about yet another quarterback who has a decent year in a brand new system and is being run out of town for another option which will probably end up on the same exact short leash as the last.

No, Redskins fans find themselves in a very familiar situation; a young, up-and-coming, exciting, fan-favorite talent is in the hospital after being injured in a violent attack. Only this time, it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as serious as the last time we went through this.

4 years ago; the Washington Redskins organization, and fans, and fans of football in general, found themselves clinging to whatever news they could get in hopes that star safety Sean Taylor would recover from a gunshot wound suffered during a home invasion. All day reports were released until we were given news that he may have been somewhat responsive and that while his career may have been in jeopardy, his life may have been in good hands. Redskins fans went to sleep knowing there was a possibility he wouldn’t make it, but with the hope he could.

The next morning, fans woke up to hear the news that Taylor had passed away at 26 years of age, leaving behind a fiancée, and daughter. For many, it took this incident for people to learn of how truly amazing a man Sean Taylor was; and for many, it seemed all too late to learn this information. But fans connected with the man on a much different level, as Taylor was one of the few players a fan could be sure would show up to make a play when it mattered most, and it would usually be worthy of highlight material.

We’re on somewhat familiar grounds, with entirely different circumstance. The Redskins young WR/Return man Brandon Banks, is in a hospital recovering from a stab-wound he suffered early Saturday morning when leaving a club in Washington, D.C. The reports we initially received that an argument led to an unprovoked stabbing, now reveals that Banks’ friend may have been the first to attack, and Banks was caught in the middle of a very horrible situation.

Regardless of how you feel towards Banks’ friend in relation to instigating or starting the fight, a weapon is never an answer to an argument or a fist. I’ve read former player’s opinion pieces on this matter saying that Banks should have been more responsible and left sooner, or forced his friend to leave, or gone about dragging his friend away from the situation. LaVar Arrington suggested that Banks should have known the situation could escalate, because it happens all the time. Well LaVar, it also happens all the time that an argument starts, and no punches are thrown. Or an argument occurs, and punches are thrown, and it never escalates beyond a fist-fight. There’s no blame on Banks for the way in which the situation escalated.

However, I do agree with Arrington that getting out of there would have been the most logical decision to be made, and Banks should not have allowed himself or his friend to get into this situation; he’s got to assert himself and make his friend walk away, or remind his friend that his career is to huge to allow something so petty to potentially ruin it, so meet outside in a few if you’re not going to walk out with me.

However, Banks’ friend was injured seriously, and was brought to the hospital initially listed in critical condition, and while it feels natural to want to blame someone (even if blame is deserved) for the situation, we need to have the self-respect to condone ourselves as concerned human beings and address that the real issue is that a man felt the need to use a knife to defend himself in an argument and fist-fight, and it severely injured two men, one of whom happen to be one of the most electrifying young men the NFL and Washington Redskins have seen in quite some time.

What concerns me about this situation is not the request that information not be leaked, rather that the information that was leaked every single day up until yesterday, has been the same. Every day, Banks was rumored to be released from the hospital “within the next 24 hours as he recovers from a superficial wound to his side” and we never saw that happen. Instead, yesterday we receive news via Banks’ agent that Brandon has a tube inserted in his chest to prevent his lung from collapsing. So from going from a “superficial wound to his side” which is no more than a slice, we find out Banks actually suffered a stab wound which punctured his lung.

I’m not suggesting this matter was handled badly or even that it could have been handled better; I’m simply stating that Redskins fans, so soon after the passing of Sean Taylor, may be responding to this with disbelief, and horror. There’s no reason to believe Banks will not make a full and speedy recovery, however, there’s plenty of reason for fans to worry and be upset. The revelation that the situation may be worse than reported and finding out that the family has asked for information to not be released, can lead anyone to believing it’s a worst-case scenario.

So here’s to Brandon Banks and his friend; may you get well soon and fast!

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