Carolina Panthers receiver Torrey Smith found himself under scrutiny he never asked for when he posted a fairly innocuous photo on Instagram on Sunday.
Three feral hogs, notorious for being an absolute nuisance and a danger to the environment, found themselves on the wrong end of Smith’s thermal scope and ended up as dinner-to-be.
This is not the first time that Smith has discussed hunting feral hogs.
He posted about it on Instagram weeks ago, describing how he used corn to attract his quarry.
For some reason, TMZ Sports turned what appears to be a fairly common activity for Smith into a story, headlined, “TORREY SMITH POSES WITH DEAD HOGS.”
To be fair, the report itself was fairly neutral on the topic of hunting hogs. But the article did serve as a gateway for the haters to come out in droves in the comments section.
Smith refused to back down, addressing the TMZ article in a tweet Monday.
“I’m a country boy,” he said. “I hunt. I eat what I shoot.
“This is not a story. Just be happy that you aren’t a hog or I’d come for y’all too.”
Guys are staying out of trouble so we need news somewhere. I’m a country boy. I hunt. I eat what I shoot. This is not a story. Just be happy that you aren’t a hog or I’d come for y’all too 🐗 https://t.co/ar1ELJwScZ
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) April 8, 2019
Frankly, Smith is 100 percent correct.
At the end of the day, there are few indisputable truths to Smith’s killing of feral hogs.
First, hogs are destructive and dangerous. It’s not as if Smith is hunting seeing eye dogs.
Second, as he noted, Smith eats what he kills. He’s not wasting the dead hogs.
Fortunately, the two-time Super Bowl champion received plenty of support from people on social media, including ESPN’s Sage Steele and some other NFL players.
Love this, and love your response! We’re eating the elk & deer venison my husband hunted last fall for dinner tonight, bring the fam & stop by!
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) April 8, 2019
— Ryan Jensen (@sinjen66) April 8, 2019
— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) April 8, 2019
Smith is hardly the first NFL player to be criticized for hunting. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was accused of being “offensive” after posted a hunting photo in January of last year.
Sadly, as long as twits like ESPN’s Keith Olbermann keep emboldening anti-hunting zealots, it’s unlikely that athletes like Smith and Wentz will ever stop hearing about it.
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