Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, Josh Huff, was cut by his team following a traffic violation turned gun violation in New Jersey. Huff disclosed his weapon, registered in Texas, to the officer but was cited for unlawful possession. The Philadelphia Eagles released him days later.
“I’m a professional athlete. What professional athlete don’t have a gun?” said Huff, in an interview with reporters prior to leaving team facilities.
Philly.com conducted a poll of 37 Eagles players to see how many own guns. 18 guys claimed they did, just under half the sample. Several players opened up about why they do and why it’s not an issue.
“There’s no need to really get into whether it’s more justified for us as athletes to have them,” safety Malcolm Jenkins told Philly.com. “It’s our American right, and some guys choose to practice it.”
Allen Barbre, a lineman on the team said, “I have pistols for protection. In Missouri I always got them with me.” Barbre, who owns 100 acres, added to Philly.com. “Checking cows — if a coyote is messing with a cow, I have a right to shoot it.”
NFL players often feel they’re targets of violence.
That was Huff’s stated reason for carrying his 9mm Smith & Wesson: “I have a wife and I have a son at home, and my job is to protect them at all costs. My job is to protect myself as well.” Huff’s facing charges in New Jersey because its gun laws don’t recognize registrations in other states.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who lives in New Jersey and owns hunting rifles, said before Huff’s dismissal that he doesn’t “necessarily understand why they need guns outside of maybe sport hunting or whatever” and added the Eagles will “just continue to educate our players and try to curb it the best we can.”
So, gun-owning Americans, how does this sit with you?
My two cents: I don’t know how this law of not recognizing other state’s gun registrations is constitutional. And, even though cited in another state, I don’t know how the avid hunting state of Philadelphia isn’t really pissed at Eagle ownership for taking the stance and firing this player. I hate to play the race card here, but because he’s black and disclosed his weapon as he’s been coached to do, I hope the gun community gets a little riled-up in his defense.