Ndamukong Suh is a different player on the Buccaneers. It’s time for fans to accept that.
Changing your public image is no easy task, yet players accomplish this feat all the time in the NFL. The Buccaneers have seen this first-hand in recent years with Ndamukong Suh and Antonio Brown to some extent (before a few weeks ago).
These two players “polarized” fanbases for wildly different reasons, but the ability for players to change who they are in the eyes of the league is one of the best parts of the NFL story.
People make mistakes. People grow. And that is precisely what Ndamukong Suh has accomplished with the Buccaneers.
Suh arrived in Tampa with many fans labeling him “dirty.” There were undoubtedly a few moments that would give credibility to that belief, but the NFL has a lot more to do with what you have done recently rather than who you were a decade ago.
After just a few years with the Bucs, Suh has completely changed his image on the field, and his off-the-field exploits have been commendable as an example every player should try to follow. Suh documents these exploits extensively on Twitter, but some fans won’t let him forget who he was before this change.
Clearly, the Super Bowl champion and defensive leader for the Bucs is over the constant comments back on his past and showed this with a Tweeted poll today questioning the need for trolls on the internet to continue bringing the past up.
Of course, the first comment back proves Suh’s point.
When are people free from mistakes of the past? Sure, what Suh did on the field was wrong, but it’s not even like these were criminal offenses. These mistakes also occurred several teams, years, and life decisions ago. They are in the past.
If Suh tried to do the same things now, there might be some precedent to question what he was doing, but he has completely changed his behavior on the field. In fact, someone who has only watched Suh during the past few years with the Bucs would have no clue that he made some questionable decisions on the field in the past.
There is a time to hold players accountable, and there is a time to move on. The internet makes it so that trolls can always hold past mistakes over your head, but Ndamukong Suh is the epitome of a player that deserves a new image for what he has done on and off the field over the past few years.
To answer his question: no, Suh has been awesome for a while now, and he has done everything necessary to get past a rough reputation from the start of his career.
Fortunately, it seems like the vast majority of the voters on the poll see what Suh has done, which is the right way to look at a player like this.
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