NFL and NBA owners once enjoyed total control over their players in the form of contract, but the modern era has seen quite a shift in the other direction.
Players have leveraged social media to force themselves to and from destinations, which would be seen s ubsurd by athletes that played in previous generations, some of which spent the entirety of their career with one team.
Loyalty is a thing of the past, with emotions now driving decisions by players, in terms of what team they want to suit up for. Just look at Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, for example. Those players haven’t been moved as of yet, but James Harden succeeded in forcing his way out of Houston not too long ago.
Even Matthew Stafford, who is known for being a calm, loyal guy, didn’t want to stick around in Detroit for the Lions’ major rebuild. Management listened to his concerns, and he was traded to the Rams as a result.
But it didn’t work out that way for former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who was at odds with the organization for quite some time, and ended up retiring as a result. He apparently had the same request as Stafford, yet wasn’t treated the same, which he told Woodward Sports.
“We asked would they release me or let me go to another team, Johnson said. “…They wouldn’t. You know what, it sucked that they didn’t let me go, but they let Matthew go, but hey, you know, it is what it is.”
We would’ve loved to see Johnson get the opportunity to play for a different team to finish his career. He sure earned it.