The coverage of Lynn Bowden feels similar to what Tyreek Hill endured last year.
Earlier this week, news broke that Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Lynn Bowden, Jr. had been arrested. Immediately Twitter broke out with speculation and judgement calls about Bowden’s character, predictions of what happened, how the situation might play out, and quips about the Raiders as an organization.
It happens every time.
At this point, it’s important for me to note a few things, including the facts as we know them at present. As of press time, we know that a home in Youngstown, Ohio was raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency and other authorities. Assault weapons were reportedly removed from the home as evidence in an ongoing investigation in which no charges have been filed against anyone and no arrests have been made.
The house in question reportedly belongs to someone in Bowden’s family, and it is true that the Raiders rookie was present on the day the search warrant was executed. Bowden was held in handcuffs at that point, which is where the rumor mill began to churn once news broke that Bowden was on the scene.
At this point, this is all that’s known. It’s important to listen to Bowden’s side in this, which came out via a statement from his agent.
In other words, absolutely nothing of substance is known here at all. It’s possible that crimes have been committed here that will come to light and Bowden will be implicated. It’s also possible that Bowden was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he will be exonerated.
Kansas City Chiefs should be quite familiar with this tension (and the slander from outsiders) after experiencing all of this one year ago. It was last spring when Tyreek Hill’s name was being dragged through the mud when allegations of battery were thrown at him. Even the media came into play to make Hill seem guilty, and his attempts to state his case largely went unheard at first under the weight of an ongoing investigation of child abuse.
By the middle of summer, all authorities and the NFL had concluded that Hill had done nothing wrong. Hill had been crucified in the media with calls for his immediate release from the Chiefs and banishment by the league. Even today, one year later, there’s a segment of people on social media who still believe Hill did something wrong.
If Bowden did something wrong, there will be time for all of us—from fans and NFL pundits to the team and league—to find out the facts and then properly respond. At this point, the only thing we can know is that there is an investigation and Bowden, Jr. is in orbit to some degree.
Chiefs Kingdom learned a valuable lesson a year ago about jumping to conclusions. Bowden deserves the courtesy of hearing his side and believing it until proven otherwise.