“It’s just business.”
You often hear that comment when talking professional sports, especially when tough decisions are made. This week the Washington Redskins benched Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season, even though Griffin believes he should still be playing. In fact, the real angle (and irony) here may be the fact the Griffin worked so hard this off-season in order to come back from injury (something the Redskins obviously favored) that he likely came back too soon, causing him to play below his potential this season, ultimately resulting in him getting benched. And as crazy as this sounds this may not even be the low point to the story — suppose his backup Kirk Cousins plays so well that RGIII remains the backup next year, or gets traded. So much for going all out for your team, huh?
It’s not hard to argue that RGIII probably played his way to the bench when you look at the team failures (and his own personal dips in productivity). The deeper issue, however, is that of loyalty to a player in Griffin who has seemingly done everything possible to get back and play this year after a horrific, career-ending type injury — a decision that has now come back to haunt him.
So heres the story in a nutshell — RGIII makes one of the most remarkable injury comebacks in sports history (arguably way too soon), and while the team was thrilled to have him back, they now turn the other cheek and bench the player.
“It’s just business” goes a long way in pro sports, but perhaps more players should think about those words before going 150% in rehabilitation in an attempt to come back sooner than is medically recommended. Teams seem to want this kind of commitment and dedication from players, but when the productivity isn’t there the easy fallback is “it’s just business.”
You could point the blame in a lot of different directions when it comes to this story — Griffin may have come back too soon, the medical staff might have allowed him to come back too soon, and the Red Skins might have pulled the plug on his too soon considering all that Griffin did to get back. Future injured athletes might also want to pay close attention to this story, as it may be unwise to try and rehabilitate from serious injuries too soon. The body needs time to physically recover, and the mind needs time to regain the confidence needed to be successful. While it would be nice to fast-forward this process, in most cases that simply isn’t possible if a full recovery is the goal.