Time to take ‘trash’ out of our vocabulary


When asked if he thought Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is improving, Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney had this to say:

Blake Bortles is not trash and it’s time we all stop using the word to describe a performance, person or situation we don’t like. I’ll start with me. As someone who works with kids, I influence and am influenced by them. I try to keep up with their slang in order to better relate to and understand them.

I’ve used the word ‘trash’ to describe things I don’t like and that’s not OK. Just because I don’t like it, doesn’t make it trash. Someone put their heart and soul into a project and did their best to achieve a positive outcome. Who am I to compare who they are and what they did to something that should be thrown away?

Trash, by definition, is useless. It has no value. Keeping trash around too long becomes a health hazard. Even having too much trash in designated places for trash is an environmental hazard. How dare any of us call another human being trash?!

Blake Bortles is not trash. And I’m not going to rattle off his stats from Sunday against the Texans to prove he’s not. He’s a human being and that’s proof enough. I don’t care how many touchdowns he threw or what his quarterback rating was.

I’m also not going to call Clowney names for making such a foolish comment, either. It’s pretty easy to tell by Clowney’s comment what the outcome of the game was, but that’s no excuse to call someone trash. Blake Bortles and Jadeveon Clowney are both good enough to play in the NFL. Their teams play each other twice a year. Jacksonville will win their share. Houston will win theirs.

We have to treat each other better than this. Every human being has value. None of us is trash. For those thinking I’m being too sensitive, imagine the reaction if Bortles had said this about Clowney.

Can you hear me now? Good.


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