To call recently retired NFL tight end Benjamin Watson a breath of fresh air among his peers would be a vast understatement.
While many professional athletes seem obsessed with their brands, signing the biggest contracts possible or forming “super teams,” Watson has instead focused on much more important issues.
With his faith as his bedrock, Watson has been a prominent and proud pro-life voice.
Despite the controversies that surround such a stance, Watson has been unafraid to voice his opinion anytime he’s been given the appropriate platform.
“Men, it is past time that we be the leaders, caretakers and providers that we were meant to be,” Watson said at the 2017 March for Life. “We, as men, must stand up for the lives of the innocent and their mothers in crisis.”
Watson wasn’t finished there.
“As important as women have been in championing this cause, you men, us men, must rise up and lead the charge,” Watson continued in the video. “Even if it wasn’t demonstrated for you by a father, you can be different. You can change the course of generations.”
Watson has also previously described abortion as “the ultimate form of racism.” He even proceeded to make some biting and harsh assessments of Planned Parenthood.
“I do know that blacks kind of represent a large portion of the abortions, and I do know that honestly the whole idea with Planned Parenthood and (founder Margaret) Sanger in the past was to exterminate blacks. And it’s kind of ironic that it’s working,” Watson said in August 2017.
Clearly, Watson is a proudly religious man who believes in the sanctity of all life. He’s never really spoken out on politics, wantonly bashed the president or spouted off any spicy takes.
That’s what makes this Sporting News report mildly surprising.
Despite ESPN’s seeming preference for obnoxiously loud gasbags like Stephen A. Smith, “The Worldwide Leader” has shown interest in signing Watson to bolster its NFL coverage, Sporting News reported, citing unnamed sources.
Watson, whose NFL career spanned 15 years, is widely considered to be one of the most “TV-ready” players. He has just retired following successful stints with the Patriots (with whom he won Super Bowl XXXIX), Brown, Ravens and Saints.
Many have lauded Watson for his ability to address controversial topics in a respectful manner that doesn’t alienate people. In other words, he’s basically the opposite of Colin Kaepernick.
It’ll be fascinating to see if ESPN is able to sign Watson. It’s been no secret that the network has been hemorrhaging viewers and subscribers. Signing the talented Watson wouldn’t fix all of ESPN’s problems, but it’d certainly be a step in the right direction.
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