Stop Thinking Players Don’t Believe What They Say

February 15th, 2019

Joe is metaphorically throwing a dagger here at Bucs writer Thomas Bassinger, but the message also goes to far too many fans and media.

Simply stated: let’s start believing what NFL players say instead of acting like their direct communication is something it’s not. At least give them the benefit of the doubt.

Bassinger penned a piece today explaining that Bucs fans are the most Republican in the nation. The story is based on what appears to be a legitimate survey, albeit with a very small sample size.

But Bassinger wrote that one example of the Bucs’ Republican-leaning fan base was Mike Evans quickly ending his anthem protest after he rolled it out before a game following the 2016 presidential election.

…  Two days later, he apologized and said he would go back to standing.

Why was Evans’ protest so short-lived?

The quickest explanation is that those who took offense, including a Republican state senator, were loud and insistent in their calls for the Bucs to discipline, trade or release Evans, whose silent demonstration coincided with the NFL’s “Salute to Service” military appreciation and merchandise marketing campaign.

That’s “the quickest explanation?” How bout the quickest explanation for Evans’ short-lived protest is the reason he actually gave in his apology: he didn’t like offending military members (many are registered Democrats) while delivering an anti-Trump message that was very personal to him.

Isn’t easier to take Evans on face value rather than to think he was influenced by a cranky old state senator (who later resigned after a sex scandal) and various social media haters? Apparently not.

This brings Joe to America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, and yesterday’s story of him saying that while benched midseason last year, he advised himself to disregard some coaching and do more of his own thing. Endless fans bombed Joe on Twitter claiming Jameis didn’t really mean what he said or even say what he actually said.

Joe doesn’t understand that line of thinking. Why do so may people think players don’t know or believe the words coming out of their mouths?

Joe views players as intelligent people educated and experienced in public speech. Heck, Jameis himself wrote to Joe on Twitter and never said he didn’t mean what he said; he simply wanted to emphasize that he respects all his coaches.

Joe just wants it clear out there that Joe believes Evans, Jameis and players in general are intelligent and know exactly what they’re saying, especially when it comes to their own personal matters and feelings. That mindset won’t be changing at world headquarters.

26 Responses to “Stop Thinking Players Don’t Believe What They Say”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Politics should never be in sports

  2. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Politics has always been in sports. That will never change. Get used to it and accept it. If you can’t, I suggest you don’t watch sports.

  3. WyldKat Says:

    The NFL is happy to accept money from anyone, including politicians and government entities.

  4. Bradentonbuc Says:

    It’s hard to cut through the bs of coach-and-player speak sometimes, especially if it’s only audio or text. Wouldn’t you say it’s fair to say there is a lot of that out there? Not to say that is totally applicable here. Tampa also happens to be a military town with strong connections between the military appreciation and sports organizations around here. Not saying someone told Mike to stand or chill out, just arguing for having to parse the words of players and coaches

  5. Not there yet Says:

    Everyone misspeaks and everyone can be misunderstood especially media types and sorry but just because you write for the team and talk to the team doesn’t mean your right. I can easily see the guy coming out clarifying a statement after seeing how it was portrayed the wrong way. I mean honestly when your paid to hang on a players every word why act like you don’t exaggerate situations to create a story, something you all do in the off-season

  6. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Intelligent lol. Hilarious. Maybe 30% of the players should be allowed to speak with a microphone in their face. 23yr olds with no real world experience in life, business, relationships generally have opinions of little to no merit and aren’t even articulate enough half the time to say anything remotely cogent. Cool, you were talented enough to get out of your bad neighborhood – and go to college and have someone take exams for you, but because you made it to the NFL, actual smart and learned people of this world are supposed to take some kids opinion as gospel? Dohhh k. Look at half of these players Instagram page, you’ll start bleeding out of your ears from a brain aneurysm

  7. Clodhopper Says:

    Interesting. Maybe why we cant get any great free agents, and when we do, they go mental. MAGAphobes are an over-emotional lot.

    Wonder what team has the most republican players. Patriots?

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Joe just wants it clear out there that Joe believes Evans, Jameis and players in general are intelligent and know exactly what they’re saying, especially when it comes to their own personal matters and feelings.”

    I agree with you 100% Joe, but it really doesn’t matter all that much. What DOES matter is that each player be held ACCOUNTABLE for what they say because it reflects not just on them, but also on THE TEAM.

    In his latest ‘hassle’, Jameis didn’t exhibit very good judgment (it’s never good for ANY player to cast ‘innuendos’ on his coaches). Beyond that however, I keep wondering what this whole incident says about Bucs’ management. Dirk Koetter, if I understand right, was dual-hatted as HC & OC specifically because of his RELATIONSHIP WITH JAMEIS WINSTON. It was deemed CRITICAL (in 2015) to keep Dirk on so that Jameis could be developed properly. Now 3 years later, Dirk gets thrown under the bus … BY JAMEIS (and oh yes, the media) … apparently because Jameis wasn’t ‘developed properly’.

    Apparently I’m missing something here in terms of ACCOUNTABILITY. Seems like EITHER Jameis is accountable for his own ‘development’ to this point OR those who put Dirk Koetter in the position to be responsible for Jameis ‘development’ should be held ACCOUNTABLE. Hmmm, now who would that be?

  9. AlteredEgo Says:


  10. Lamarcus Says:

    What JW said about his coaches was actually I wanted to hear…. Tune them out. On HK Koetter wanted him to be Aaron Rodgers right away at the age of 23. Didn’t sound like a coach “working” with him. It sounded like he just gave him unrealistic advice. Then JW says they wanted him to play like Fitz. No JW did needed to be himself

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Its not that players don’t mean what they say……usually its what they say that is the problem.
    Players are really no different than actors or musicians…….they have huge fan bases & often alienate them by what they say. The fan bases usually forgive them because they admire the talent.
    The difference from players & others is that they are part of a team sport.

    Evans made the right decision for whatever reason.

  12. joestang Says:

    Bassinger is a fool, even sports fans have values and ethics, more than I could state for this liberal fool who is full of FAKE NEWS. There is no need to knock fans or Evans for their beliefs. People like him are why our country is so divided.

  13. aceinthehole Says:

    More than enough “fools” on either side of the political spectrum to go around. The problem with opinion based info-tainment media is that it more closely resembles the role of circus clown than journalist. While Fox News brought it to the mainstream, folks on both sides are just as guilty.

  14. Bucsdelight Says:

    In my opinion this poll was B.S.

    From their own report: “To quantify the political affiliations of each team’s fan base, we commissioned a SurveyMonkey Audience poll of 2,290 American NFL fans in early September 5 that asked them to list their three favorite teams, as well as the political party with which they identify. Sample sizes ranged from 526 respondents who put the Green Bay Packers in their top three to 41 for the Jacksonville Jaguars; the average margin of error6 was +/- 7 percentage points.”

    So let’s say only 41 responded with TB in their top 3 out of 2,290. You really going to tell me that because 24 of them said Rep. vs 17 saying Dem. that TB is hard core Republican? Yes, there are correlations with Florida being Red, but that is a very small sample size and I don’t believe that is a good poll at all. If they had surveyed 2,290 per Area, then sure. But to poll only 2,290 in the U.S. I think it is a B.S. report.

  15. C2asante Says:

    I don’t know if they are any more republican than anywhere else but the fact is fans everywhere respect players for the entertainment they provide and not as thinking men who have the same rights of free speech and self actual inaction they have. He was forced to stand because in general most fans could care less that Black people are disproportionately victims of police murder and brutality, and they hate hearing Black players take a stand against this injustice that largely does not impact them. It has been clearly stated that kneeling had zero to do with the military or disrespecting the flag. But that false narrative persists and is perpetuated by those who prefer the comfort of ignoring and obscuring the real issue.

  16. SOEbuc Says:

    Holy crap Joe. Politics and Trump drama? I already throw up to this sh** every day reading other blogs. Let’s talk Bucs. I do feel players have the right to kneel and Donald Goodell shouldn’t be able to take their first amendment rights away. Total BS.

  17. J.T. Cross Says:

    Anyone can see he had to walk back his comments because what he said was true, and unacceptable of any player. BS artist strikes again…and again, some believe him. Oh, and don’t forget, Evans first ignorant kneeling incident was before Trump was president. He’d stated more than one he’d not do it again. His right, but his ignorant butt to show.

  18. __TGH__ Says:

    Living in MO… have to believe KC would give TB a run for their money when it comes to a Republican fan base. Tampa gets more liberal every day with each New Yorker moving down. Right Irv?

  19. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I’m not very political and try not to define myself with certain cliques. I like to ride the top of the fence but from the outside looking in this is a hatchet being thrown at anyone who may be republican. This article is just another way to separate this fanbase by using politics. The protest for the kneel down protest was justified by more than half of the US and it has no bearing on how or what a player might say in an interview, unless it was about kneeling during the anthem. Tampa Bay is a hub for the military whom we honor at almost every sports venue in town. Creating controversy and rift seems to be a JBF tactic. There’s no wonder that this team hasn’t sniffed a post season bid since JBF has existed. I know, it’s ridiculous to correlate but so is this BS diatribe.

  20. Joe Says:

    Creating controversy and rift seems to be a JBF tactic. There’s no wonder that this team hasn’t sniffed a post season bid since JBF has existed.

    Joe doesn’t know where to begin with this. 🤦‍♂️

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Spin, spin, and more spin. Being Republican or Democrat or Libertarian has ZERO to do with personal responsibility. If there’s one thing I cannot stand is someone who speaks their own words then backtracks at the first sign of controversy for P.R. reasons.
    You “didn’t mean it”?! Bullspit! You”didn’t know the damage it would cause…”?! Bullspit! It’s how you feel. Guess what America, we’re not always going to like what we hear or hear what we want.
    Own it! It’s your opinion and you are just as entitled to it as anyone else to state it. Just know that someone out there is going to take offense. Heck, You could say “puppies are cute” and the International Cute Kitten Club of America would be offended.
    Don’t try to explain away what you or somebody said. You said it. We all can CHOOSE to be offended or not. Just stop walking back.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
    And, what the eff does anyone’s party affiliation have to do with football?! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!
    (Right meow, for the kitten club)….movie reference alert!

  22. BringBucsBack Says:


  23. westernbuc Says:

    Bassinger is a lefty and a contrarian. Dude spends most of his time dumping on the Bucs and complaining about Trump. Of course his conclusion is that the big bad Republicans are silencing players.

    My guess is that he’d be happy for conservative players to shut up. Not that they speak up…

  24. firethecannons Says:


  25. unbelievable Says:

    Well of course Evans apologized after the backlash. It was obvious that was going to happen.

    My problem with it was that Evans could not articulate his feelings or the reasons for his position. If that was me up there, I would have no problem diving into specific details as to why I was protesting, etc. But he could not articulate that at all, and it made him look foolish.

    As for the Bucs being the most republican fan base, it would not surprise me at all. But that’s a really small sample size to make that claim off of.

  26. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    I believe Winston when he shouts “FHITP”…..we should believe him right? Joe, I sense you’re starting to turn, and becoming open to moving on from this debacle of this “great human being”……