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.
Not only will he not play against No. 13 Michigan in Tuesday’s BCS Sugar Bowl, but Virginia Tech spared little expense when sending its senior kicker Tyler Weiss home to Roanoke on a bus. Yes, 833 miles on a bus. OUCH.
What did the young fellow do to deserve a one-way ticket out of Crescent City? He was nowhere to be found when a coach came to his hotel room for 1:00 a.m. bed check Thursday morning.
What exactly was Weiss doing in lieu of being tucked in on time? We don’t know, but whatever it was clearly didn’t qualify as appropriate, otherwise I’m sure the coaches would’ve cut him some slack had he a legitimate excuse for missing curfew.
Perhaps he wasn’t living it up on Bourbon Street, but I kind of hope he was, because whatever he was doing better have been worth missing the final game of his collegiate career.
As for the Hokies kicking game, this Weiss kid was the backup until being promoted last week when Cody Journell, the starting kicker was suspended following an arrest. Why was Journell arrested you ask? Only for a felony stemming from an alleged home invasion of a Hokie basketball player!
From roanoke.com, Journell and two others are, “accused of entering the house of Dorenzo Hudson and Sean Allen with a weapon [gun], with the intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, or another felony, according to warrants… the three showed up at Hudson and Allen’s residence last night because they said Allen [the resident] stole marijuana from Dunton [one of the three suspects],” according to the website’s reporting based on court testimony.
Clearly, the backup kicker Weiss, who missed the only field goal he attempted this season (a 29-yarder) has nothing on Journell, either on the field or on a rap sheet.
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer told the Associated Press, “My kickers are not bad guys. They just made bad decisions. And young people do that.”
Not sure if you qualify as a good guy after attempting an armed robbery inside someone’s home over drugs, but perhaps I’m just being judgmental.
Anyway, the 11th-ranked (BCS) Hokies are now left with kickoff specialist Justin Myer to be responsible for putting points on the board. Myer missed his only two attempts of the season, but they weren’t gimmes at 57 and 53 yards. Coach Beamer told the AP that his punter Michael Branthover and a redshirt freshman Conor Goulding could earn a shot at the kicking gig during practices leading up to the big game.