Perspective has a way of jumping up and delivering a swift smack to the face. Today as the players are meeting in Washington to hopefully take a vital step towards ending four months of squabbling over a $9 billion mountain of NFL riches, perspective surfaced.
Myra Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, lost her battle with cancer and died at the age of 68.
The outpouring of condolences over Twitter was immediate. But for veteran Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, Twitter wasn’t good enough. As a leader who has been around the New England organization since the Patriots selected him in the first round of the 2004 draft, Wilfork wanted to reach out to the Kraft family and offer his personal regards.
This is clearly normal human behavior. Sure, it’s convenient and modern when players announce their retirement through social media, but extending condolences to a grieving family that you interact with regularly in just 140 characters or less is insensitive, and downright rude.
Unfortunately, that was the only form of communication available to Wilfork.
The lockout might be ending in the next 24 hours or so, but who knows. With the lockout still in place teams aren’t allowed to contact players in any way, and that includes owners–otherwise known as the enemy right now for players–and all front office staff.
But even the most strict rule should be disregarded during unique circumstances. Those rules were bent for Jerry Jones when he was permitted to attend Tony Romo’s wedding because of a special exemption.
We can only hope that Wilfork and others will be given the same courtesy during this delicate time for the Kraft family.