Nathan Hague


It’s disappointing that we hold athletes to completely different standard – and a lower standard at that in comparison with everybody else.

As I mentioned in a recent column, the Houston Texans let Deshaun Watson off the hook way too easily. When he made it clear he planned to hold out, the Texans buried him on the depth chart, still paid him in full and then caved to his wishes yet again by trading him to the Cleveland Browns.

He signed the contract, he should honor it. It’s a shame because it seems like the more money one makes, the lower the expectation is.

There are countess examples of teams catering to their unhappy disgruntled employees and we’ve seen another recently with Kevin Durant.

In 2019, Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets, singing a four-year, $164 million deal. Then this past August, Durant signed a four-year, $198-million extension with the Nets and not even a one year later, he requests a trade. The Nets waited a year for him to get healthy, then brought in Steve Nash as head coach and added Kyrie Irving.

Friction between Durant and Irving led to Durant’s trade request.

In my opinion, Durant is unprofessional whose level of sensitivity is somehow even higher than his contract. He doesn’t get along with a teammate so he decides not to fulfill his contract. For some reason or another, he’s incapable of letting things roll off his back and focusing on the goal at hand.

Most people, if they even if they don’t see eye-to-eye on things, can still work together toward the common goal and get the job done. Durant, along with other athletes these days, can’t do that. Once upon a time, when you signed a contract, you were giving your word to do your very best for that company for the agreed amount for that length of time. Terms like, “outperforming the contract” didn’t exist. When you gave your word, you kept it. You didn’t simply change your mind just months after a multi-year agreement.

Unfortunately though, the world of sports has allowed us to simply throw in the towel.

I wish the front offices of these franchises would hold their employees to their contracts, deny their trade requests and tell them they’re welcome to sit the season out for free if they wish or they can choose to not be quitters and do what they promised.

If those of us who sign contracts with our employers tried pulling that ridiculousness with our bosses, we’d be out of a job and we’re not even getting a small fraction in our lifetimes as they do in a season. It’s about time teams and players alike honor their contracts.

Sports Editor

Nathan Hague has been the sports editor of the Marshall News Messenger since 2014. His passion for sports along with the realization he would never play them professionally led him to to a career of covering sports and the people who play and coach them.