It’s human nature to gossip and speculate when something happens to someone we know, even if we only know them through their celebrity status. When TMZ reported an incident that occurred on Monday night involving Buffalo Bills WR Zay Jones, social media went mad with speculation about what happened.
I purposely chose not to include the direct link from TMZ’s video clip of a naked, out-of-control Jones in the hallway of his brother’s apartment building in Los Angeles because it shamelessly invades the privacy of a man obviously going through a very bad moment in his life. While being a staunch advocate of the first amendment, I’ll refer to a common phrase I use in circumstances such as these:
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Despite the cacophony of theories about what happened and why, no one outside the situation can state with any degree of certainty what went down. We may never know the exact circumstances and as far as I’m concerned that’s the way it should be.
Gossiping has always been a dangerous form of bullying.
However, now the era of social media allows us to place our thoughts on the internet where they will burn into eternity. What might have been scores of people affected by cruel intentions in past generations now has become a world where millions of people can instantly judge and condemn a person before facts can be adequately established.
And we wonder why the suicide rate is rising?
I don’t. I saw the devastating effect of gossip on (especially) young people in a rural outpost in Wyoming in my private counseling practice. Thankfully I retired before the advent of social media because I can’t imagine how much worse it is today for young people living in a world where their lives are now digitally archived for all the world to see.
My point is this. Whatever happened to Zay Jones on Monday night is not something we should pass judgment on without listening to his side of the story at the very least.
We pride ourselves as BillsMafia, the FAMbase who has the back of every player in a Bills uniform. When one of ‘ours’ goes down, we are right there with kind words and tangible support.
Right now we’re readying ourselves for Jim Kelly’s next surgery, reaching out without hesitation because of the enormous challenge the Kelly family is facing. That’s who we are.
The bottom line is that it might be more productive to let the situation play itself out instead of blowing up cyberspace with all sorts of theories and judgments about Zay Jones and his current situation. Let the young man feel supported, not suffocated by judgment coming from people who don’t know him personally.
Whatever happened and why isn’t where our thoughts about the situation should be right now. All that matters right now is that Mr. Jones get whatever he needs in terms of support from all of us.
Editor’s babble: This one hits close to home and triggers many memories of working with struggling adolescents. We all need to be better people in terms of how we respond to behavioral crises. Thanks for reading my babble. You can find me on Twitter @RobynMundyWYO.
*Views expressed by authors are their own and not necessarily those of the owners of the billsmafia.com website.