The selfish athlete is usually cliché.
It happens all the time, an athlete makes an outlandish claim and it’s deemed selfish for wanting to get an increase in his already outlandish (by non-pro athlete) standards. In their world of their pay scales, these are legit concerns and them securing a future that is afforded to them by their rare talent. I take little issue with this in many cases, as they usually work themselves out without any long-lasting damage.
The reality of the situation varies, as there are different scenarios in how this plays out. In many cases of holdouts, it’s an issue of where the calendar doesn’t coincide with the holdout that is usually happening anyway. However, these cases are around an established player looking to get a breakthrough contract that places them in the correct earning bracket for their play or a highly draft rookie, who looking to capitalize on their draft placement.
Neither of these are applicable to Albert Haynesworth.
Haynesworth was already the highest paid player at his position, and one of the highest paid in all of football, with his seven-year, $100 million contract signed before the 2009 season to join the Washington Redskins. $41 million of this was guaranteed money, so he was set. This contract was seen as a bit off an overpay by owner Daniel Snyder, but he’s built his reputation on doing this, so it was seen as just a matter of ordinary business playing out. This time it has backfired big time.
New coach Mike Shanahan said that Haynesworth agreed to calm down and come along with the new system, and it seemed that would be the case. Wrong. What wasn’t made clear was that Haynesworth was due to receive a $21 million payout on his contract in April. Ever since he received that guarantee, the troubles from him have magnified and spread like a tumor. Now the Skins are trying to get that back from him, but are finding that only a bit over $9,000 can be recouped easily. Damn. Cancer is hard to catch.
One year into the deal, Haynesworth has decided he doesn’t want to work for his pay anymore, or least doesn’t want to do it in DC. He is demanding to be moved to another team and is blaming it on a change in the scheme that doesn’t fit his style of play. Seriously? So the details of your job change, and you want to quit it now, just to go do the same job elsewhere?
This is a pure case of athletic diva-ism (its a word now) at its best. However, none of this surprises me at all, as Haynesworth is more prone to this type of acts than he is to tackling anything. From the claims of him complaining about the coaching situation last year, only caring about his results play to play and how his “teammates” subjects have called him out in the media, it shows you what type of guy he is and I’m not surprised at all. Here’s why.
I’ve seen Albert Haynesworth before, or more concisely, I have watched him in action before. Only it was not with a helmet on, it was with an oversized jacket and jeans on at Dave and Buster’s in Tennessee. He was at the bar, being the loudest guy in the building, buying drinks and taking up more of the bar than even his 340 pound frame needed. Of the many (expected) female club goers gathered around, one stood out to him, as apparently they had some history. She got loud with him and he didn’t ignore it or talk his way out of it, he stood, asked her “If she knew who she was talking too?”, called her the canine variety of her sex and pushed her in her forehead, before turning around and pushing everyone at the bar, who had taken any of acres of space he had left free when turned around to address her, out-of-the-way.
So when I hear stories about him being less than the model of benevolence, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Neither do teammates calling him selfish. It seems like a rare case of the complete truth playing out in front of the cameras instead of behind the scenes. I don’t know what will happen with him and I don’t care to speculate or provide scenarios. Somebody will employ him this year in Washington or else. And whatever team does should start getting some chemotherapy lined locker room and front office, because they have just asked for 340 lbs of cancer to join them.