We need to talk about the fight between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole.
Let’s get two things out of the way- violence is rarely ever the answer for solving problems, but not all violence is created equal.
The word violence has become an all encompassing term from everything from military aggression to just not speaking up about an issue.
Silence is violence? Really?
In sports, you’re taught that in order to be successful you have to be aggressive. You’re told you’re going out there into battle. As an NFL Tight End, I had to “fight” for my spot and “dominate” my assignment off the line of scrimmage. All of this involved some kind of violence or violent imagery.
I went through plenty of training camps, and the purpose of those camps was to get everyone on the same page through competition, and to establish a pecking order. I saw my share of physical altercations, and participated in a few myself.
For the most part, if your purpose in challenging someone is to uphold a standard, or establish a personal boundary, once the conflict is over, two men that are out from under the influence of surging testosterone are going to find a way to re-establish a connection and find common ground.
It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced the phenomenon, but as a man, sometimes what it takes to get on the same page is to eat a punch, or serve one up yourself.
Andre Iguoadala took to Twitter and explained that what happened between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole was family business. Chris Haynes reported that Poole’s behavior has changed as his payday nears, and that’s a believable situation I’ve seen unfold in person time and time again.
We all know Michael Jordan punched Steve Kerr, and believe it or not, Shaq tried to fight Scott Skiles. As long as it’s a situation where the players involved are able to come together, talk it out, humble themselves, and extend forgiveness, the Golden State Warriors might be better for having this conflict play out publicly instead of simmering in the background until one or both players requests a change of scenery.
And the latter is a real possibility- just ask Kevin Durant.
To reiterate, I’m not defending violence. I’m endorsing the process of reconciliation, and the simple fact is you can’t have reconciliation without conflict.
If Draymond Green had a history of sucker punching players, or if this wasn’t reported to be a “chest-to-chest” conflict, I might be singing a different tune.
But as it stands, a four-time NBA champion with four All-Star selections and seven NBA All-Defensive team awards punched a 23-year-old role player that has shown flashes that he could be a future star when both players were face-to-face, talking trash.
Draymond Green has an opportunity to humble himself here, while Jordan Poole has an opportunity to push his ego to the side and move forward.
If both those things happen, and it helps re-focus this team, which in turn helps re-establish the Warriors dynasty… violence won’t be the catalyst, but reconciliation of violence will be.
Let that sink in.
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