the Chiefs don’t deserve an apology

Now that the Super Bowl is done and dusted, Americans are tuning into our true national sport: public penance.

Within the pigskin universe, we recently saw one person who had absolutely nothing to atone for give a thoughtful but unnecessary mea culpa — and another who has a lot to learn about the concept of grace call for one.

And the bookend examples say a lot about the current state of apologies. They’re rarely offered from the heart, and instead bitterly demanded or coerced to satisfy a tiny, offended class.

The first instance came courtesy of Buffalo Bills miracle Damar Hamlin, a modern-day Lazarus who was barely five minutes from his resurrection when he was called out for an imaginary offense.

Before the Super Bowl, Hamlin, 24, took the field to celebrate with the medical staff who saved his life after he collapsed at a game in early January.

What should have been a triumphant moment that united all football fans was later turned into a nitpicky and cynical questioning of his Christian faith. All because his blue varsity jacket, a collaboration between rapper Travis Scott and artist Takashi Murakami, featured an abstract depiction of Christ.

Damar Hamlin offended Adrian Peterson with his jacket.
Damar Hamlin offended Adrian Peterson with his jacket.
Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

Of all people, former running back Adrian Peterson, who was suspended for the entire 2014 season after beating his young son with a switch, called Hamlin’s jacket “blasphemous,” adding, “You should be thanking God son!”

Others on Twitter soon piled on.

Despite the whole affair being so absurd it could have been scripted by the creators of “South Park,” Hamlin offered a contrite explanation on Twitter.

“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people. It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior! My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have. Matthew 7:1-5.”

Hamlin, who is clearly a self-reflective type, didn’t owe anyone anything — especially Peterson, who forgot the ol’ Christian wisdom: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”

Brittney Mahomes demanded people apologize to the Chiefs.
Brittney Mahomes demanded people apologize to the Chiefs.
John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

Intent should matter and he was obviously making a fashion statement, not a religious one.

Then, on the other side, we have the aggrieved Brittany Mahomes. The wife of supremely talented quarterback Patrick Mahomes wanted Chiefs naysayers to grovel in the aftermath of the team’s Super Bowl win.

“I think a lot of people need to apologize for what they said about this team at the beginning of this season,” she tweeted with the bravado of a wrestling heel. Instead, it conveyed the delusional entitlement of a grown woman in a “wine o’ clock” shirt asking to speak to the manager.

Forget winning with dignity or enjoying the glow from the Lombardi Trophy in your hands. No, she’s looking for subjugation and media consensus by pushing a make-believe storyline that her husband’s team was disrespected.

Mahomes, who has appeared in three Super Bowls, has two championship rings. This victory is fodder for a “30 for 30” on the Chiefs dynasty — not the next big Hollywood underdog flick.

Brittney Mahomes celebrated her husband's Super Bowl victory and then demanded an apology from naysayers.
Brittney Mahomes celebrated her husband’s Super Bowl victory and then demanded an apology from naysayers.
Getty Images

The team was not Rocky Balboa fighting Apollo Creed at the Spectrum in 1975; or Hickory taking on the South Bend Central Bears; or even the sad-sack Buffalo Bills of the early ’90s.

She’s as unsympathetic as Prince Harry blasting his family in a yearlong campaign, then telling them they need to apologize.

As a Catholic, I’m well-practiced in the art of contrition. But the act has become a hollow gesture. So I tend to defer to the problematic 21st century philosopher, Conor McGregor, who once said:

“I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to take this chance to apologize … to absolutely nobody.” 

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