A Second Chance

I play fantasy football. Okay, I’m kind of obsessed with it. Okay, I’m definitely obsessed with it.

I listen to podcasts about strategy if that gives you a picture.

There’s a player getting ready to enter the NFL Draft named Joe Mixon. A few years ago Mixon committed a horrible act by punching a female. There was a video which brought his story into the spotlight. It was terrifying.

Mixon, and where (and if) he should be drafted, is a very hot topic in the NFL community. I’ve listened to a lot of commentary about him. Many say he shouldn’t be drafted or allowed to play in the NFL at all. Some say (although he’s a first round talent) he shouldn’t be drafted until the 4th or 5th round because of what he did. Very few say he should be treated like every other player in the draft.

Listening to the ongoing debate about Mixon got me thinking about second chances and forgiveness.

To give someone a second chance you must first forgive them, right? It feels like those two concepts coincide.

Forgiveness is really hard. The greater the wrong the harder it is. Mixon’s wrong was huge. I’ve certainly held grudges and withheld forgiveness for small things. I’m definitely not an expert in forgiveness.

As I’ve listened to commentary about Mixon, with the general consensus being he doesn’t deserve a second chance, I struggle to know how to feel. It appears the easy stance (the one you can’t argue) is saying domestic violence is horrific, so horrific that Mixon doesn’t belong in the NFL. Because arguing against that stance feels like condoning domestic violence. No one wants to be viewed as having that stance.

Maybe forgiveness isn’t the right term. It feels weird to say I forgive Mixon. I’m not the victim. I don’t know the victim. If I did this conversation would probably sound different.

But I can’t help but be intrigued that the consensus starting point in our culture, in this particular situation, is one of not forgiving, of not offering a second chance. It’s a stance that few people question.

I’m a huge Chiefs fan. Last year they drafted Tyreke Hill. He too was involved in a horrible domestic violence situation. I’ve rooted hard for Hill. When the Chiefs drafted him my initial reaction wasn’t negative. I wasn’t ashamed my favorite team would let a guy like him play for them. My initial thought was one of hope that he can overcome his past mistakes and become a better person.

I guess that’s how I feel about Mixon. If that’s right or wrong I don’t know. But I know I instinctually root for guys like that. I don’t hope that they get what they deserve by not being able to move on, grow, and improve.

I’m in a really easy position to forgive Mixon or Hill. I’m no where close to the situation. Thinking of that victim being able to forgive Mixon seems nearly impossible. What a crazy story it would be if she did.

Currently I’m terrible at forgiveness when someone wrongs me. I hope to get better at that. I hope we all do.




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