One unique aspect of the NFL is that there are no guaranteed contracts as in baseball and basketball. In football, if a big name player signs for big time money and just flops or gets hurt, no problem. The team, or owners rather, simply let them go, and simply have an injury settlement (half the contract for that year) and whatever is left of the signing bonus. But in basketball and baseball, it is completely different. Contracts are guaranteed and that’s why the Tampa Bay Rays had to stick it out with Pat Burrell and the Orlando Magic had to pay Grant Hill a huge amount of money despite the fact he was hurt all the time.
That is unless the player decides to retire before “stealing’ money from the team. Check out this article about the now former Kansas City Royals “star” pitcher Gil Meche. He is claiming that he basically stole money from the team last year by not being performing well or even often, due to injury and probably injury caused ineffectiveness. Most players, and I think you could argue that they do have a right to such things (if they are hurt on the job, doesn’t seem much different than workers comp), would show up to spring training and collect a paycheck for a maligned season.
But Meche believed that to be an unethical decision for him to make. He didn’t take advantage of his “right” as many others before him, because he was paid well to perform well. He reasoned that since he didn’t do the latter, so he shouldn’t get the former.
This is almost unheard of. So what motivated Meche? Other then a clear sense in his mind of right and wrong, and the fact he didn’t believe his shoulder could hold up, he wanted to spend time with his daughters. Sadly he’s divorced (no surprise as players are gone so much over a 162 game season), and so plans on flying to see his kids.
There’s no mention of Jesus in the article, though that doesn’t mean necessarily tell us anything (you can edit that stuff out if you want). But in this ME-centered world where true morality is as hard to locate and land on as an electron, it is refreshing to see something like this.
Calvinists believe in something called Total Depravity, where people are so hardened and enamored with sin it takes the Spirit’s work of regeneration for them to trust in and follow Jesus (John 6:32-69). But there is a difference between Total Depravity and Utter Depravity. Utter Depravity means that we are as bad as we could possibly be. Scripture explains we’re still made in the image of God (Gen 9:6), and our own experience confirms that truth when we meet unbelieving and yet unbelievably nice folks. We know that dudes can do very moral and counter-cultural things like this. But this one really blows my mind and goes against class 5 cultural rapids.
While people need a saving work of the Spirit to be able to trust and follow Jesus, we should still be reminded that unbelievers can, and should, challenge our own love for our Savior: love which daily chooses right over wrong, and discerns between good and best (Phil 1:9-11).