University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban has delivered a powerful press-conference in which he implored people to give young players a little more grace.
Speaking of the importance of second chances, Saban explained: “There’s always a lot of criticism out there when somebody does something wrong. Everyone wants to know how you are going to punish the guy. There’s not a lot of people out there saying: ‘Why don’t you give him another chance?’”
The respected coach cited the career of former Carolina Panthers player, Muhsin Muhammad, who was charged on misdemeanor drug and weapon offenses back in 2003.
“Everybody was killin’ the guy cos’ he got in trouble and said there is no way he should be on our team,” Saban recalled, noting that he coached Muhammad during his time at Michigan State.
But instead of ending his young career, Saban decided to show him some grace.
“I didn’t kick him off the team. I suspended him, I made him do stuff… he graduated for Michigan State, played 15 years in the league, he is president of a company now, he has 7 kids and his eldest daughter goes to Princeton… SO WHO WAS RIGHT?”
“I feel strong about this now, really strong, about all the criticisms out there for a guy who’s 19 years old, makes a mistake and you all kill them,” Saban concluded.
“You want to condemn them to a life sentence? Or do you want the guy to have his children going to Princeton?”
An eery silence fell on the press room. “You want to close on that one? You guys are getting me fired up,” Saban laughed.
Jokes aside, the coach is absolutely right — we have to show more grace and be sure to never write people off, no matter what they’ve done! And that is the story of God’s love for us and for all who accept Him — a guaranteed second chance at life, through the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.