Bravo David Clowney.
Wow, never thought you’d see that sentence in print, did ya? Ya, me either, especially not after Clowney landed in hot water for tweeting “kill yourself dude” to an online heckler.
But we are a nation of forgiveness and second (okay, third, fourth and maybe fifth) chances, right? Right!
I think the Buffalo Bills wide receiver deserves a gold star or two for tweeting a photo of his test results.
Nope, not a driving test, or an old Wunderlic test, but an HIV test.
The wideout blasted the following tweet to his +9,000 followers on Tuesday, showing the lab results of test for multiple sexual transmitted diseases, including the most feared of them all, HIV:
Responses on twitter were all across the board as Clowney received support, congratulations and well wishes, from some, while others took the sarcastic, rude and judgmental route. Various blogs teased Clowney, one of which wrote, “Ladies, I’m sure you probably didn’t know who he was before the tweet, so no need to jump on the David Clowney groupie wagon now.”
I won’t dignify the negative stuff with a response.
Instead, I applaud the Florida native and Virginia Tech standout for not only doing something that most would never think to do, but for using the opportunity (and negative feedback) to speak about the importance of getting tested:
As an athlete who likely has plenty of opportunity in the “romance” department, I think it’s great that Clowney chooses the road of responsibility for himself as well as consideration of potential partners. Often times athletes, or others with high-profile occupations can develop a sense of invincibility that comes along with the spotlight and the “yes-men.” Clearly, Clowney is no fool.
I bet Clowney knows the numbers, which prove that he, as an African-American male, is a prime target for HIV. The following is from the Center For Disease Control website:
• Blacks continue to experience the most severe burden of HIV, compared to other races and ethnicities. Blacks represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population, but accounted for an estimated 44% of new HIV infections in 2009. Blacks accounted for 46% of people living with HIV infection in 2008.
• Since the epidemic began, more than 250,000 blacks with AIDS have died , including 8,782 in 2009.
• At some point in their life, approximately 1 in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV infection, as will 1 in 32 black women.
• In 2009, the estimated rate of new HIV infections among black men was six and a half times as high as that of white men, and more than two and a half times as high as that of Hispanic/Latino men and of black women. In the same year, the estimated rate of new HIV infections among black women was 15 times that of white women and over three times that of Hispanic/ Latina women.
While HIV is a problem for EVERYONE, regardless of race or ethnicity, the disease is striking the African Americans community at levels completely disproportionate to the population.
Whether we like it or not, people in the public eye are role models by default and they can impact the opinions and decisions of total strangers. It’s nice that Clowney is setting a good example by getting tested and preaching awareness.
Despite his sometimes-questionable twitter judgement and lack of eloquence, Clowney must be a fairly bright guy. The 26-year-old earned a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the College of Saint Elizabeth (NJ) back in 2011 after majoring in Real Estate/Residential Property Management as an undergraduate at VaTech.
How many active professional athletes have a Master’s Degrees?
There’s much more to life than being book smart, but based on Tuesday’s tweet, I would say David Clowney is pretty street smart too.