“I’m from Houston. You can’t trust a lot of people in Houston. There’s always somebody out to get to you.”
This is a quote from Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff, addressing questions from reporters about his Tuesday arrest on marijuana and gun charges. He had a handgun that was registered in Texas but not in New Jersey. He also had six hollow-point bullets. He was headed to work.
“What professional athlete don’t have a gun?” Huff continued.”I have a wife and I have a son at home, and my job is to protect them at all costs.”
For anyone wondering how the Trump movement hit home with so many people — and how Donald Trump is less than a week from appearing on ballots in all 50 states as the Republican presidential nominee, the NFL could be a microcosm of the American mentality.
It’s the most popular sport in the world. It’s the most violent sport in the world. And its stars are paranoid, they have a stockpile of weapons for their protection and they are millionaires.
Make a word cloud of Trump’s stump speeches, and many of the aforementioned words would appear fairly large. There is a culture of guns, of violence and of mistrust in America. And it’s one Trump is exploiting and the NFL is amplifying.
Huffs’ Eagles teammate Fletcher Cox told CSNPhilly’sReuben Frank “I love my firearms”in the Philly locker room Wednesday. Another of Huff’s teammates, linebacker Nigel Bradham was arrested twice, one time for a domestic dispute and another for a gun charge in Miami.
According to NFLArrest.com, the top crimes committed by NFL players are DUI, domestic violence, drugs, assault, disorderly conduct and gun charges.
The eyes of Americans are on NFL players — just as they are on the Republican standard bearer, Trump.
When Josh Huff said Wednesday,”I’ve felt my life has been threatened and that’s why I do have a gun and I do have a license,” it echoes the sentiment of countless Americans — many of them Trump voters.
Does Huff have a point?
In Philadelphia, gun violence is rampant. A “no snitching” culture makes it hard for cops to even close most cases. The city saw 280 homicides in 2015, with detectives only closing about 52 percent of those cases.
So far in 2016 there have been 237 homicides, a 1 percent uptick over this time last year, according to police department stats.
The disillusioned, uncomfortable andfrustrated American landscape that is emerging is creating a culture of mistrust and of successful Americans, like Huff, who still feel they need firepower hidden in their passenger door console to keep them safe.
Huff was rightly cut by the Eagles Thursday morning.