Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis (52) celebrates with strong safety Bernard Pollard (31) after the San Francisco 49ers failed to convert on fourth down in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
New Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard spoke out last week, saying he will not accompany his former team, the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, on their trip to the White House.
While in an interview with a Baltimore sports radio show, Pollard said the unreleased date of the Ravens’ trip to Washington, D.C. conflicts with a family vacation he has planned. Pollard added that, even if he did not have a timing conflict, he still had no plans of going to the White House with his former teammates.
The seven-year NFL veteran cited lasting grudges with “certain people” in the Ravens organization as his reason for not attending.
For Titans fans, this news should come as both a positive and a negative. Pollard’s words indicate that he does not take kindly to disrespect, an invaluable trait on the field. Furthermore, the new safety should not have a problem putting thoughts about his estranged former team’s Super Bowl run out of his mind and focusing on the task at hand.
However, Pollard’s actions also show that he has the kind of personality that is not conducive to a healthy locker room. He is outspoken, he can obviously hold a grudge and he is not afraid to question authority.
To be fair, that attitude is exactly what makes Pollard so attractive to the Titans: He has a chip on his shoulder the likes of which the Titans secondary has not seen since the team lost Cortland Finnegan to free agency. Additionally, Pollard made sure to say the bad blood he has with the Ravens has nothing to do with his former teammates or with general manager Ozzie Newsome.
From what I have seen, players with personalities like Pollard’s will often have extreme reactions at opposite ends of the spectrum. In instances like this, when they feel disrespected, players like Pollard will respond emotionally and unapologetically. Conversely, when treated correctly, these players can be fiercely loyal.
All things considered, I am alright with Pollard’s decision to not only skip the trip to the White House but also speak out about it. Although his move may have burned a few bridges for the former Raven, it showed everyone involved with the Titans, fans included, that Pollard is going all in with his new team.