“I lose 20 pounds and you’re cutting me? What’s up with that?”
If May is such as slow month for the NFL why am I riffing about it twice this week? Mostly because when one of the league’s premier franchises decides they want to do Evil just to be Evil, it really works my nerves. Especially when it hits me in a personal way.
Two weeks after he was diagnosed with diabetes, former New England Patriots defensive tackle Kyle Love was released by the team via a non-football injury designation.
Okay. Now that’s just wrong.
“This comes on the heels of Kyle having been diagnosed within the past two weeks with Type-2 diabetes,” Richard Kopelman, Love’s agent, told ESPN. “Naturally, we are disappointed that the Patriots decided to part ways with Kyle, especially in light of the fact that a number of elite professional athletes with diabetes – both Type-1, which is known to be far more difficult to manage than Type-2 diabetes – have had very successful careers in professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball.”
“Prior to the diagnosis, Kyle recently experienced unexplained weight loss, but since being diagnosed and having altered his diet, Kyle has regained most of the weight he lost, is in good health, and was not limited in any way during offseason workouts in which he was engaged up until being told he would be released.”
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has Type 1 diabetes which is much harder to control, but it’s easier to cut a starting defensive tackle than a quarterback. Love has lost 20 pounds while dealing with his Type-2 diabetes. The Patriots cut Love loose for trying to get healthy. How cold of a move is it to kick a guy to the curb because he is trying to save his life?
At 6-foot-1, 315-pounds, Love is a big man, but the NFL is full of big men who are sloppy fat. Others are almost freakishly fast and strong even while carrying over 300 pounds. Many football players develop diabetes and other chronic diseases when they retire from the game. It seems to me Love is being penalized by the Pats for putting his immediate health first and they didn’t even give him a shot to see if his on-field performance suffered any drop-off. Forget about Tim Tebow. THIS is what being blackballed looks like.
“Mumble…mumble…wonder if they’ll have soup tonight at the shelter…mumble…”
Like 28 million other Americans who suffer from diabetes, I am a Type 2, insulin-dependent diabetic and it bothers me that a NFL team can cut a player loose for sharing my sickness. The thought that my employer would up and fire me because I have a disease sends a cold chill down my spine. If you have diabetes and you’re a NFL player, you might want to keep that to yourself. You might be better off coming out as gay than a diabetic.
I’m hopeful some other team not as coldly ruthless as the Patsies will give Love a change to renew his career. He should get a shot somewhere. Love has played in 41 regular-season games over the last three seasons, with 25 starts, and was credited with 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Love has flourished as a space-eater in 3-4 defenses where he frees up linebackers to make plays. I’d love to see Love wearing 49er crimson-and-gold, but I would bet some other team with a worse record signs him off the street first.
“Having consulted with leading authorities on the effects of Type-2 diabetes, we have every reason to believe that Kyle will, in the immediate future, be at 100 percent, and will be prepared to participate in training camp in a couple of months,” Kopelman said. As Kyle said, ‘there is no way something like this is going to stand between me and a long and successful NFL career.’”
On the off chance he doesn’t have a long and successful NFL career because nobody picks him up after he clears waivers, Love might consider looking at suing the Patriots for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the very least, the NFLPA should step in for Love and sue the living snot out of the Patriots over this dick move. If they don’t, the players should disband their union because it is as useless as it is impotent. Deadspin read the EEOC regulations just to be sure:
Diabetes also is a disability when it causes side effects or complications that substantially limit a major life activity. Even if diabetes is not currently substantially limiting because it is controlled by diet, exercise, oral medication, and/or insulin, and there are no serious side effects, the condition may be a disability because it was substantially limiting in the past (i.e., before it was diagnosed and adequately treated). Finally, diabetes is a disability when it does not significantly affect a person’s everyday activities, but the employer treats the individual as if it does. For example, an employer may assume that a person is totally unable to work because he has diabetes.
I ‘ll add this to the reasons I hate the Patriots. I already hate Bill Belichick for being a slob who dresses like a homeless person, cheats and is an arrogant asshole. I already hate Lady Tom Brady for being compared to Joe Montana and being the biggest crybaby and a bit of a punk (I haven’t forgotten the play where he dropped into a slide with his spikes up and gouge Ed Reed in the man package). I already hated their owner Robert Kraft for all those years I ate Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when I was a poor, starving college student.
Now I can hate the Patriots for being discriminatory dicks as well. Best of luck to Mr. Love with both next season and the rest of his life.
“Kyle Love? Jeff Winbush wrote about you too?