It is one thing to think about it, it is another thing to talk about it, but when you do it, you have crossed a line that is clearly marked. I am talking about Khalif Mitchell of the B.C. Lions and his intent to injure action against Simeon Rottier of the Edmonton Eskimos. Just about everyone who follows CFL football has seen the video, and nobody seems to be coming to the defence of Mitchell. Why? Well, it was pretty indefensible. If this was a murder case the only recourse would be to plead insanity and hope for the best. It is kind of tragic in an odd way. I mean, here is Mitchell, all 65", 320lbs of personality and power. A guy who actually turned down major NFL money to stay in Vancouver with the Lions. And by doing so, the fans really embraced him as something different and special. Mitchell was on his way to becoming a true "popular athlete" and a known public figure. And Mitchell had embraced Vancover as his own. In one year Mitchell had set a stage not only for his career but post-career, too. He had sort of found a new home that could help him develope a good life, and not just a football job. That has sort of been tainted now. I understand the rage he felt at that moment in time. I will never know if Rottier said or did something to set Mitchell off, but even if he did, trying to break another mans arm cannot be rationalized away. Anger, rage, temper or any desire that is out of control is dangerous, and to act on or out with those extreme emotions never ends well. You really do have to be a little mentally unfit to take a mans arm and make an effort to break it. This will be a difficult week for Mitchell and the Lions as a high percentage of talk will be about "The Play" and not the opponent, Calgary. How do you handle something like this? There is only one answer, crush it and take a stand of "never again". I dont think I have ever met a football player who was not 100 per cent sure of the price you will pay for playing football. And when injured, there is an acceptance that it was going to happen at sometime so when it does you know how to act. But trying to break anothers arm is evil and for many, I say the majority will see it as such. In the end the biggest damage Khalif Mitchell did is to himself. I mean, Simeon Rottier will recover and is well on his way to an excellent carrer. Mitchell, he will be considered vicious and out of control for years to come. I have often said that I do not mind football violence, its part of the game and forgive me - a big part of why I respect football so much. What happened last Friday night was not football violence, more a reality of street violence. I can understand the state of anger or rage Mitchell has on the field. I have thought those thoughts of wanting to hurt someone too. I can understand the threatening verbal remarks and language that is a part of football, it is a part of the intimidation test that every young player goes through. I have threatened and been threatened many times over 12 years on the field. But, the third phase, I never acted on my thoughts and words the way Mitchell did. A few months from now this will be in the past and for the most part forgotten as a priority. But a sense of damage has been done. Football is a great sport that tests your courage and resolve. What Khalif Mitchell did was not football. Calvin Johnson Authentic Jersey
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