The Patriots’ apologists suddenly have gotten very quiet.
For many of them, their strongest arguments in support of the team’s decision to release defensive lineman Kyle Love evaporated when the Jaguars realized that football and Type-2 diabetes can coexist.
But the Jaguars actually have helped the Patriots, in a sense. While the decision to embrace Love tends to make even stronger the notion that the Patriots violated his rights by viewing him as someone who was unable to continue to perform as a football player, picking up Love’s contract via waivers means that, if Love were to sue the Patriots, his financial damages would be minimal.
Though if Love fails to make the 53-man roster in Jacksonville he could argue that he would have made it in New England, that would likely be far too speculative in a court of law. By being claimed on waivers, the Pats essentially are off the hook financially.
It doesn’t make what the Patriots did right. The team has not responded to a PFT request for comment, and no amount of off-the-record spin being espoused by writers covering the team regarding concerns such as Love’s performance slipping in 2012 and the addition of other players who may be better than Love changes the fact that the Pats cut Love not because of his performance or his competition but because of a medical condition. We know this because the team released Love in the immediate aftermath of his diagnosis with the “non-football illness” designation.
While the Patriots may suffer no consequence or reprimand for a fairly blatant violation of Love’s human rights (because, you know, they’re the Patriots), the Jaguars deserve to be praised for ignoring a condition that can be treated and controlled. Many people operate successfully with diabetes, and every diabetic should be a fan of the Jaguars moving forward.
Meanwhile, we can only wonder how Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, whose foundation benefits diabetes research, feels about the situation. Maybe he’ll eventually have something to say about it.