Former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson was one of the speakers at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium. Johnson was given the honor because he offers a unique perspective as a player who ended up on the wrong side of the law and it cost him dearly.
“While you’re playing in the NFL, you do not need a firearm for any reason,” Johnson said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “The NFL does a great job of putting these resources around you where you don’t need a firearm. Having a gun is not going to help you when that moment comes if you’re not trained on how to use that gun.”
Tank was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft and had a decent run with the Bears from 2004 – 2006, including a trip to Super Bowl XLI, but multiple run-ins with the law on gun-related charges forced the Bears to cut him after to 2006 season.
I find it interesting that the former Bears defensive tackle, who had multiple weapons, including assault rifles, is now telling the incoming rookies to check their weapons at the door.
“I’m just here to talk to you guys about firearms, guns, gats, straps, all that stuff that we keep seeing pop up in the media all the time with our young athletes,” Johnson told the rookies. “The main thing that caused me those troubles, coming from Phoenix and moving to Chicago, was bringing a car full of my guns, thinking it was going to be sweet like it was in Phoenix, where you can buy an AK-47 at Circle K.”
I hope Tank’s message gets through to the youngsters especially when you hear about the crazy situations like the one Aaron Hernandez finds himself in facing murder charges. And before all of you Guns rights guys jump down my throat, I fully support everyone’s right to bear arms. I just think that with NFL players and the backgrounds many of these young men come from, carrying weapons is not in their best interest. What good did it did for Tank Johnson, who lost his friend and body guard William Posey in a night club shooting, or look at what it cost wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who shot himself in the leg and ended up going to jail.
Guns may not kill, but they can kill careers.