Here's an important message for anyone who might meet an athlete out in the wild: Unless you want to get burnt to a crisp, don't challenge them to a competition in their own sport.
Here's a different important message for professional athletes on the brink of a massive, life-changing contract: Maybe think twice about taking unnecessary risks, like outplaying some regular people on a blacktop as both defensive back and wide receiver.
If you want to see both pieces of advice ignored in one video, look no further. Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson, a quarterback who loves football more than any 20 people you know, mixed it up with some fans at a basketball court over the weekend. And as you might guess, he outpaced them at every opportunity. Lining up as a DB? No problem! Beating coverage to make a catch as a WR? Easy!
— Overtime (@overtime) July 12, 2021
It's honestly delightful, and the crowd that gathered at the basketball court loved every minute of it. Jackson just loves football, and it doesn't matter whether he's playing with his teammates or some fans.
Jackson playing with his future?
There's vital issue lurking at the center of this: What is Jackson doing risking his knees like that when there's a massive contract in his future that could be seriously affected by an injury, especially one sustained off the football field?
It's clear Jackson is just being himself out in the world, having fun and enjoying life as Baltimore's star quarterback. But while it might be fun to randomly stop at a local basketball court and make some fans' day, the rest of the team's fans — not to mention his teammates and the Ravens' brass — would probably be hugely unhappy if he had to miss time because he injured himself playing around in the offseason.
Jackson just needs to find a less risky way to channel all that incredible energy. Fans can still be involved, but only if he's sitting in a lawn chair.
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