Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship knows that there’s no faster way onto a woman’s bad side than to suggest she’s chunking up a little.
It would seem the same effect is found in NFL players.
Ezekiel Elliott, running back for the Dallas Cowboys, attended “Von Miller Day” in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas, on Saturday and posted a picture to Instagram that immediately sent the Internet into awful-husband mode.
Zeke Elliot. Actually fat pic.twitter.com/VFB4mVUewu
— #TheSpan (@WingspanSports) April 21, 2019
“Zeke Elliot (sic). Actually fat,” the caption said.
Never mind that Elliott’s weight is of no concern to anyone but his team and only when training camp begins. Football is a lot like boxing in that regard; how much someone weighs is only important the night before they go into combat.
It would seem that an ill-fitting shirt hanging like cheap drapes made Elliott look a lot fatter than he is; from another angle, a picture taken by a fan at the event showed a much slimmer Elliott, whose T-shirt wasn’t pulling double duty as a fat suit.
— Charles Hitchens (@CoachHitchens) April 20, 2019
Another commenter pointed out that Elliott’s just a big boy, especially standing next to two naturally smaller men, he’s going to look like a Mack truck in a Smart Car parking lot:
They’re saying Zeke got fat 👀 I think he just looks fat. Big dude.
— Z$ (@zmoneysf49ers) April 21, 2019
And once again, it’s the middle of April. The first actual games aren’t until September, and if the Cowboys hold Elliott out of preseason games to keep him from getting hurt, that will give him nearly two entire months with team nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, and what-have-you to get into game shape. Unless he shows up looking like Homer Simpson wearing a muumuu, it simply isn’t going to be an issue.
In fact, last year, Elliott had problems with his weight too — and by the middle of the season, he had recovered just fine and was playing some of his best football by mid-November.
Of course, if you really want to get fans whipped up into a froth in the offseason, get them thinking about their fantasy team.
Should this scare fantasy owners next season?
— Uncle Odds (@Uncle_Odds) April 21, 2019
But then again, this is the third straight year that Elliott’s weight has caused a combination of fat-shaming and backlash to the fat-shaming.
In 2017, Marcus Mosher posted a picture of Elliott in game warm-up action looking in good enough shape to have his abdominal muscles visible.
Now that we’ve had our fun fat shaming Ezekiel Elliott… we can all calm down. This was from warm-ups. pic.twitter.com/D72MaS0Fyg
— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 20, 2017
And yet, a commenter immediately pointed out that looks can be deceiving.
And so was this. When he wasn’t stretching his ab muscles to catch a ball. Appears to clearly not be in the same shape as years prior. pic.twitter.com/sEzOZxvIi2
— Mike Ryan Ruiz (@MichaelRyanRuiz) September 20, 2017
The only thing that ultimately matters is whether Elliott will help the Cowboys win games. The rest is just window dressing.
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