300 pound NFL lineman Leonard Williams springs into action to protect woman at concert

Society’s infatuation with negative news — and the media’s eagerness to report it — tends to make people and groups appear worse than they are. Unfortunately, negative news produces more reactions than positive news. This is why NFL players are getting a bad rap.

There’s no denying the fact that a few NFL players have committed some heinous acts in recent years. The non-stop coverage of these crimes, however, is not balanced out by equal coverage of the positive acts. Take the recent incident with the New York Jets’ Leonard Williams.

Leonard Williams pushes back against domestic violence

In a video taken at a recent music festival, Williams is shown jumping in to protect a woman from an apparent dispute with a man. The man and woman were later reported to be Williams’ teammate Darron Lee and his girlfriend. Immediately, coverage focused on the negative.

Lee was aggressively grabbing and verbally abusing her. Will the NFL look into this? Will the Jets suspend him?

The fact that Williams stepped in to protect a woman became a secondary story. It’s just not the juicy angle. It’s hardly the only recent positive story about an NFL player to be underreported.

Colin Kaepernick stands for those in need

Compared to all of the press about Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, the coverage of his philanthropy was a drop in the bucket. This offseason, while some harped on his inability to land with a new team, Kaepernick used his situation to help those in dire need. With a historic famine affecting as many as six million people, Kaep helped lead the charge to secure a cargo plane with 60 tons of food to send to Somalia. It was just the latest act of philanthropy from the ex-San Francisco 49er, too. Last season, he donated $1 million from his salary and all the royalties from his jersey sales to various charities.

Charitable donations are not the only positive acts carried out by NFL players, too. Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long recently started an initiative to build wells to provide clean water for those in need. Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Bernard Reedy will make nearly half a million dollars in 2017, but still keeps his $11 an hour job helping the disabled. Former NFL linebacker David Vobora, meanwhile, recently started a nonprofit that offers free personal training sessions to the disabled. Last year, New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming kicked out a burning car window to save a woman.

These stories, while just as important as those about crimes, tend to fall through the cracks. It’s a shame, but the inexcusable acts of a few bad people should not be used to condemn the group.

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