Earlier this week, Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff was reportedly pulled over on the Walt Whitman bridge for speeding and having windows that were too tinted, and then arrested for allegedly having a gun with hollow point bullets (illegal in New Jersey, where authorities claim he was) as well as a small amount of marijuana.
Until yesterday, it appeared the Philadelphia Eagles were committed to keeping Huff, who joined the team for practice and who the head coach was expected to play this weekend. But then Huff spoke up about just how silly the brouhaha over his gun possession was.
Huff apologized to teammates for the “distraction” of his arrest, but defended to reporters his right to bear arms. “I’m a professional athlete, what professional athlete doesn’t have a gun?” Huff asked reporters. “I have a wife and I have a son at home. My job is to protect them at all costs, and my job is to protect myself as well even though I know I have security here, but I have to protect myself as well.”
Huff’s argument applies not just to professional athletes but to all law-abiding citizens, whose right to self-defense is supposed to be protected by the Constitution despite the concerted effort to whittle away those rights, especially for minorities and other marginalized communities.
Huff also expressed that he believed everybody else in the Eagles and around the National Football League also carried guns for protection.
“I’m from Houston. You can’t trust a lot of people in Houston. There’s always somebody out to get you. You’ve got to protect yourself,” Huff explained. “Even when I’m back in Houston, I always have a gun on me, because there’s been several instances in Houston where I’ve lost a friend to gun violence, and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, so why would I let that happen to me?”
The Eagles cut Huff this morning.
Just last month, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was arrested at Miami International Airport after TSA agents allegedly found a loaded handgun in his backpack.
The NFL bans fans from carrying weapons in their stadiums, and last year the Fraternal Order of Police tried to get the NFL to exempt off-duty and retired law enforcement officers from the ban, citing incidents of terrorism at high-volume venues and the security having responsible gun users in the stadium can provide.