Marcus Peter is not the villain he’s being made out to be

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Marcus Peters
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Marcus Peters /

Marcus Peters in the villain of the week. Here’s why some fans need to think twice about their portrayal of the Chiefs star cornerback.

No matter how good things are going, apparently in 2017 there must always be a villain. For the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs, that villain is Marcus Peters.

Well, let me change that just a little: Peters is the villain this week. Two weeks ago, the villain was Travis Kelce after he got unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in back to back games. But he is old news, now the shiny new bad guy is Peters.

You won’t have to look hard to find plenty of opinions on Peters. Turn on either of the sports talk stations in K.C. and they are debating him. Get on any social media platform and you’ll see some of the wildest hot takes I’ve seen involving K.C. sports. What I find funny is the reason that people are having debates and hot takes this week have nothing to do with why people are mad at him.

People are claiming to be mad at him because of his protest during the national anthem. After raising his fist in protest all of last season, this season he has moved to sitting during the anthem. Funny thing is I don’t remember any threats of boycotting last year while he was intercepting six passes and winning the game in Carolina thanks to his strip fumble. I don’t recall hearing much discussion about it this year either, at least not until he had a bad game and got beat for two touchdowns Monday night.

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Just like Kelce, Peters is a hothead who does dumb things sometimes. Last year he had an issue with punting the ball whenever he’d make a big play. He’s had issues with taunting and getting into officials’ faces after calls. All his complaining to officials could be a reason he didn’t get the offensive pass interference call against Terrelle Pryor on the first touchdown he gave up. That is the kind of call a top cornerback can get because the refs know he should be in position so if he’s not something happened. But when you have a reputation of being a jerk to officials, they aren’t inclined to lean your way on a 50/50 call.

The biggest issue that came up Monday was the video of him yelling at someone in the crowd after he gave up his second touchdown. It was very easy to read his lips in the video as he yelled “f*** you b****” to someone in the stands. It is unprofessional for an athlete to say those things to fans. It’s even worse when you are shown on tape doing it in your home stadium so it looks like you are saying it to the hometown fans. Nobody knows whether it was a Kansas City or Washington fan nor do we know what was said to Peters in the first place, but players should always be above that. He was asked about the incident after the game and he responded with “oh yeah about that, I’m gonna go get loaded” and then he walked away. That is not the best way to handle the question. An “I’m sorry” or even “no comment” would have been better.

So yeah, clearly Monday night was a bad night for Peters. But why in the world is everyone so mad at him this week? I do not understand why one bad day for him is worth being treated as a lead topic on every sports talk show in K.C. days on end. I can’t figure out why people would want him cut—not traded or suspended—flat out cut today.

On the field he had a bad game. When I say he had a bad game, I mean by his standard. Plenty of guys in the NFL have games like this every week, but Peters is a top three corner in the league and he has higher expectations. Let’s remember while he had a bad game, if he didn’t get pushed he most likely intercepts that first touchdown. The second touchdown and the other big play across the middle he gave up were simply great throws and great catches. Peters was in good position, but the offense just made good plays and they get credit for that. I don’t believe anyone is worried about Peters’ production on the field. He is still an elite corner in the league and this type of game is unlikely to happen again anytime soon.

So the only reason people can be this angry with Peters has to come from the off-the-field stuff. Yeah he blew his top on Monday and yelled at the fans. Like Kelce he’s an emotional player and uses that to play to his maximum level. That means if you want him at his best, then you just have to be ok with the fact that every now and then his emotions will get the better of him. As long as they don’t cost the Chiefs a game, which they haven’t yet, then you can work with that. Even if he loses one game with some blow up, he’s won many more than that with his great play, so it still should just be chalked up to the price of doing business.

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He’s never had a run in with police and he’s great in the community, especially in his hometown of Oakland. So that means this all boils down to his protest during the national anthem. He has been doing his protest since week 1 of last season; it’s time to get over it. Peters protest literally does not have any impact on your ability to enjoy a football game, and if you say it does, you are lying. I’ve had people say they just want to sit down and enjoy a football game, not have politics shoved down there throat. The anthem lasts barely over a minute, while a football game last over three hours. If you are so offended by one minute that it ruins three hours, then I think you have a lot bigger issues than a protest or football game.

Nobody is complaining about Kelce this week because he had hundred yards receiving and a touchdown. People are talking about giving Alex Smith a contract extension because he beat Tom Brady and ran a game winning drive Monday night. If Peters has a great game on Sunday night then next week will be talks of his bounce back and how great he is for putting the distractions behind him. There are only a couple players on this Chiefs team who they could never afford to lose and Peters is one of them. He is a shutdown corner who, more often than not, takes away half the field from the opposition. He is also immature, a horrible interview and can be a jerk on the field. Just like Kelce his good far outweighs his bad.

Fortunately, as long as he produces on the field and the Chiefs keep winning games, he’ll go from being Lex Luthor to Superman.