This may sound like someone trying to defend his behavior, let me stop you right there. This is a sincere attempt to analyze a situation that has been ugly long before Bryant became a public figure.
What most of the critics have left out is that Bryant’s mother and Bryant himself are dual American tragedies. His mother is reportedly 37 years old. That’s not a typo. To make matters even more startling, Dez is 23 years old. It is no secret that teen pregnancy is an epidemic in our country. Girls from all walks of life have children to soon. Of course there are wonderful stories of triumph from such a tough situation as this. However with most complex and systemic situations there are just as many casualties as there are survivors.
So for just a moment let’s take the right and wrong out of this incident. Clinical psychologist are trained to understand the minds of sociopaths. The main idea of their jobs is to help explain not only the psyche of the patient but also to connect the dots on why the behavior occurred in the first place.
Of course I’m not qualified to psychoanalyze anyone. However it is my solemn duty as a journalist and radio personality to give you an alternative from TMZ, ESPN, Fox Sports and every other media outlet that has pegged this only as a young man attacking his mother.
There are many people and factors who failed Bryant in his upbringing as a child. The perfect storm of being reared in a poor socioeconomic environment, the absence of a consistent loving father figure, the lot of having a teenage mother for a custodial parent and being blessed with athletic ability created the collateral damage that created this display.
Example Number 1
Many athletes in Dez’s situation are under tremendous pressure to take care of their families after they strike it rich in pro sports. If I were a betting man, I’d place my bet on the fact that Dez has lived with this pressure as early as middle school. It’s also safe to assume that as soon as the whiff of athletic talent was discovered hangers ons and people who “loved “him popped out of the wood work. During his NFL combine interviews, he was asked about his mother’s life as an alleged prostitute and drug addict. Can you imagine the embarrassment of having to answer that question in an interview for a job? Sure the Dolphins look like prophets now but what inside information did they really have that would warrant such a question in the first place? Did they know that Angela (Dez’s Mother) left her son with anyone who would keep him while she chased her addiction all night long in tiny Lufkin, Texas? Could they see this as a distraction considering the pressure he would be under to not only to perform at the NFL level but to “take care” of a mother that’s only 14 years older than he? Is this starting to makes sense now?
Example Number 2
The one piece of the puzzle that I left out was Deion Sanders. The former all pro and first ballot hall of famer dropped Dez Bryant like a bad habit before he played a down in the NFL. I’m sure that this was a familiar occurrence in Bryant’s life. He’s had people in and out of his life telling him that they love him only to jump off of the money train after they got what they really came for.
Deion Sanders is one of those people to a certain degree. Sanders didn’t need to help Bryant for money but there was something in it for him too.. Sanders is not responsible for Bryant’s poor decisions but he is a part of the dichotomy of the cause and effect when one attempts to divvy up factors of what led to this outward aggression towards his mother. Deion Sanders took Dez under his wing and provided him with a positive male role model. It doesn’t take a psychic to know that Sanders was one of the few men his life that showed Dez that he really cared.
It’s quite difficult to understand all of the reasons that Sanders distance himself from Bryant at such a difficult time of transition. However I’m under the impression that this hurt Dez’s development because of the commitment that Deion made to him. Sure Sanders isn’t his father and yes I’m sure that Dez Bryant’s rage, decision making and overall personality was a lot to deal with but can’t you see the pattern here? Everything this young man has either been seasonal or a mirage. The summation of his life is about people leaving him or not giving him the support he needed when it mattered most. Deion Sanders essentially cost Dez his senior year in college when he listened to his advice about possibly hiring Sanders long time agent Eugene Parker. Under the instruction of Sanders and Parker, Bryant lied to the NCAA during their investigation on sports agents pre-mature recruitment of college athletes before their eligibility was complete. Dez’s yearlong suspension in college coupled with his sketchy upbringing with a drug addicted teenage mother for a parent scared some NFL teams away. So what does that have to do with Dez attacking his mother? EVERYTHING!!! This man has never had the luxury of a consistent network of people he can trust. The factors of his background bleeds over into his decision making process, his outlook on his profession and the way he views life overall. It’s duly noted that Dez Bryant needs to grow up.
It’s painfully obvious that he committed the cardinal sin of striking his mother. But can’t we see the tragedy in all of this? Yes he’s going to be suspended by the league as well he should but can’t we see the cry for help? Have those around him viewed this up close and personal too long and turned their backs? It’s quite possible that A. He wasn’t always receptive to those who had good intentions or B after Bryant “made it”, many who were just there for the ride got what they came for in the first place.
Let’s not take a page from the national media and define this tragedy with the same broad brush that we paint with all the time. The criminal athlete is always a great ratings driver but we have the power to stop falling for the okey doke. This isn’t just another case of another pro athlete going off the deep end. This should be a rallying cry for the healing, rehabilitation, and the development of a talented but troubled young man.
Instead media outlets of all forms will make this sleazy while those of us who know better will have our collective voices of reason snuffed out by those who only want to quench the public thirst of viewing people they “report” on through the lens of stereotypes and innuendo. In the words of Chris Rock.. I ain’t saying he should’ve choked her but I understand….
By: The Sports Kritik@ http://tobtr.com/s/2110719