Ricky Williams, another insanely talented athlete who some fans didn't think "cared" enough about maximizing his potential at a child's game.
"White gurlz go hard!!!!!", Duron Carter once famously declared in a tweet the Monday after 2009's Halloween, "You see some shit in college you'd never see in real life!!!" As some-what of an Ohio State footballer-Twitter historian, I consider this to be the finest effort in the Twitsphere by a member of the Scarlet and Gray. (It is of my life's biggest regrets to never have screen-capped the Tweet, as it was lost the first time Duron Carter deleted his account.)
Since that tweet, the odyssey of Duron is well known. After allegedly spending his freshman year playing XBOX 360 and partying at Ohio State, he ventured to some JUCO in Kansas, then to Nick Saban's pogrom in the sticks of Alabam, only to be shortly exiled without ever seeing the field. He's now enrolled at FAU, where he was recently kicked out of practice for showing a "lack of effort."
Things are always so simple when it's another person's life, but I have to ask: Why do so many people feel these athletes owe them something? Or if they don't perform up to pre-ordained expectations between the white lines on Saturdays, they have somehow failed at this joke of a game we mortals call "life"?
From Ricky Williams to Duron Carter, sports-fans have always struggled with talented athletes who didn't seem to "care enough" about running around a field with a diamond-shaped leather ball. As if anybody on this Earth was put on this Earth for the sole purpose of playing football. As if Duron Carter's only way to validate his worth as a human is to be the best football-catcher he could be.
Who cares if Duron Carter is lazy? As if being the slothful off-spring of a multimillionaire alone makes him worthy of disdain. At least Duron Carter is a chill bro who likes to mellow out and play XBOX, as opposed to hanging out with "writers-about-the-town" and going to whatever-in-the-hell "couture" parties are.
I would love to compare the haters' disdain for Duron Carter to their fulfillment from whatever desk they're jockeying for a five figure salary, but I think I already know the answer. I also have a hypothesis that many sports fans who weren't gifted with Duron's genes quietly despise him, because hey, if ONLY they had that athleticism, then they would surely be in the NFL making millions and not under the thumb of a boss they despise.
Two years ago, LeBron James got killed because he reminded his detractors that they'll still have to wake up to their own worlds the next day. Lost amongst the uproar was the fact that what LeBron said was true.
Duron Carter will be fine, with or without football. Hell, judging from his actions, it doesn't even appear he wants to play football, but so what? Or maybe, also like Ricky Williams, he doesn't deal well with the tinpot dictators that constitute the average college football coach.
Duron Carter has already validated his existence by breathing oxygen on this Earth. It's up to him to decide how to use his life, and if he wants to take the journeyman's road to the CFL and then the NFL, so be it. He obviously has the talent given how many chances he's been gifted.
And if he don't, well, it's not like his life is over. On the contrary, it's just beginning.