Former New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has never been the loudest person in the room throughout his football career, which is why he surprised everyone when he lashed out at NFL athletes and how they set themselves up as role models in an Instagram post on July 19 represented.
“I’m tired of seeing football players portray this tough guy image or pretend he’s a gangster,” Bridgewater told his followers. “They went to school, took these classes, and some even got their college degrees. Now you might have 1.5% of professional footballers who are active, but the other 98.5% are just ‘football hard’.”
Bridgewater’s public vent session continued and went viral on Instagram with over 54,000 likes. So much so that it even caught the eye of NBA star LeBron James, among others.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join this Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Jets!
Bridgewater deserves James’ respect
Bridgewater’s full thought after the paragraph above is as follows:
So don’t wait until you’ve inherited that legal money from the league to decide if you want to be tough or be a “street picture,” because it’s the kids who look up to everything we do. Also, it’s someone sitting in a cell or posted to Hood, who might have been Hood like you, who would advise you otherwise. Children are not fooled. You can play ball, do the right thing, and they will still accept you. Look at me I’m far from perfect but I chose the ball route but I can still go to the hood and post and it’s all love. I still have the same 3 guys around me. My people accept me for making the right decisions and not becoming a victim or being fooled by the wrong image you see [Instagram] by many ball players. choose your way But can’t do both.
James was one of the first superstars in the sports community to applaud Bridgewater for his powerful honesty and truth — at least in his opinion.
“T. Bridge water! All the FACTS”, James tweeted with a screenshot of the words and a greeting and fact emoji.
The critical, thought-provoking message undoubtedly had positive intentions. Be yourself, it’s okay to make it in this world behind an education or skill and most of all, don’t be afraid to be proud of who you are.
We can all learn a thing or two from Bridgewater as a leader.
follow that Heavy on jets Facebook page where you can find out about all the news NYJ related daily content, analytics, features and more!
Reactions from the NFL community
Bridgewater’s call to action was also acknowledged by many in the football community. Some of those who agreed with him included running back Dalvin Cook, wide receivers Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins, cornerback Darius Slay, linebacker Micah Parsons, and OT teammate Terron Armstead, who commented, “Real rap!!”
2021 Jets captain Justin Hardee also responded: “Amen! stay as you are.”
As a role model, Bridgewater has often practiced what he preaches by giving back to the community in various charitable activities. This sudden outburst shows his willingness and need to do more.
By speaking up, Bridgewater hopes to help others in more ways than one. If his words can play a domino effect in the sports community, it should benefit children across our country. Well, that’s true influence.
Jets should have kept Teddy around
Bridgewater wasn’t a jet for long, as the franchise rolled over the signing to start the 2018 season after a summer contest with Sam Darnold. In hindsight, Gang Green might have been better off keeping the veteran as a first-round mentor and giving him time to develop.
The end result would have been the same when Darnold was drafted to start, not sit, but Bridgewater’s experience and composure might have helped the USC product. Sure, the Jets had Josh McCown on the roster back then, but swapping the class for a sixth-round pick seems wasteful in hindsight.
After his summer with the Jets, Bridgewater went 16-19 as a starting quarterback with the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Ironically, Darnold replaced him a second time in Carolina.
Now Bridgewater has returned to the AFC East and is expected to back Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa to start the 2022 campaign.