Last year's superbowl MVP, Santonio Holmes was interviewed Thursday night after his Steelers beat the Tennesse Titans in the opening night of the NFL season. That alone isn't news... but he was wearing did make some headlines.
Of course, he's drawn some criticism for doing so... How could he support that awful Michael Vick guy?! How could he wear another team's jersey?! All nonsense. Click after the jump to find out why.
Anyone that had a problem with what he did simply hasn't come to grips with the reality of modern athlete and pro sports in this era. First, if you think a player on your team cares as much about it as you do... you are in for heartbreak. They don't care. Santonio Holmes isn't from Pittsburgh. He didn't grow up a Steelers fan. Sure he likes the team and I'm sure he appreciates the fans, but he doesn't see it as any kind of offense to wear another teams' jersey. We in Philly learned this lesson years ago when Allen Iverson showed up at a post game press conference wearing a Celtics jersey. He didn't really know or care about the long history between the Sixers and Celtics. Fans care about that kind of stuff, players don't and as long as we don't expect them to, we won't be let down.
And if someone is offended that Holmes would dare to show support for Mike Vick... get over it. They all support Mike Vick. All of them. Every player in the NFL. Not one that I've heard has said a cross word about Vick. Even the Giants' players applauded the Eagles for signing the guy.
"It’s hard for me to say this, but I’m proud of that franchise," Osi Umenyiora said Friday, a day after the Eagles signed Michael Vick. "That was a big step they took. A lot of people didn’t have the -- what’s the word, cojones? -- to make a move like that. But they did.
"As much as I hate to say this because I’ve been bred to hate that franchise, I’m happy for them and I think they did a good thing," he added.
The NFL is a fraternity. These guys are all in the same union and they support one another. They don't hate each other like us fans really want them to. In fact, most of them are buddies. I'm fine with Santonio Holmes wearing a Vick jersey. If the shoe was on the other foot and an Eagle showed up wearing the jersey of another player... I'd tell you the same.
Go out there and play well on the field and stay out of trouble off the field. That's all I ask from players I root for. I don't expect them to care about my team as much as I do.
[Note by JasonB, 09/12/09 12:20 PM EDT ] Ohio St. QB Terelle Pryor also showed support for Vick by writing "Vick" under his eye. I would suggest that if you're a fan of another team and you want to criticize any of these players... be ready to criticize your own when they do it as well... because they probably will.