Who Decides Who Deserves Another Chance?

Ikemefuna Enemkpali

Peter messed up big time. He had a big mouth and a hot head and a little patience and a lot of lip.  He walked on water and skated on thin ice. He was hot and cold and sweet and sour all at the same time. He pressed and pushed his way to the front to confess that Jesus was the Messiah and slunked and skunked his way back to the back to deny him.  He had high, highs and low, lows like the rest of us. And just like the rest of us, he did something he would regret the rest of his life.

But he got another chance.

Ikemefuna “IK” Enemkpali messed up. Enemkapali (pronounced in-em-PAUL-ee) is a New York Jets, err, WAS a New York Jets player who punched his teammate, who just so happened to be the team’s quarterback, in the face, breaking his jaw.  Geno Smith has been a punching bag before, but never quite like this. Now, the Jets quarterback is out 6 to 10 weeks after being “sucker punched” by his teammate, a non-starting backup, IN THE LOCKER ROOM, Tuesday morning. Smith has a broken jaw that will require surgery.


Jet’s Head Coach Todd Bowles would not disclose what prompted the altercation other than to call it “very childish” and something unrelated to football that “sixth graders could have talked about.” Published reports, citing anonymous sources, indicate that it derived from Smith’s failure to reimburse Enemkpali $600 in airfare and limousine fees after Smith could not attend Enemkpali’s charity event last month in Texas.

“It’s something we don’t tolerate; it’s something we can’t stand,” Bowles said. “And you don’t walk up to another man and punch him in the face.” The episode shocked and deflated the Jets, scrubbing the optimism that has permeated the franchise since a new regime took over in January and revamped the roster after four seasons without a playoff berth.

Enemkpali apologized to the Jets’ organization and their fans in a statement, but was immediately released by the Jets.  Fights do happen in training camp, but they usually happen on the field. And even then fights are not acceptable.

Remember, fighting is not for fun.

And now, Enemkpali has a new team and a new lease on life.  Believe it or not, Enemkpali was signed by former Jets Coach Rex Ryan, who is now with the Buffalo Bills.  Go figure. Just like that, a goon of a guy who acts like a thug and huffs like a hood, a ruffian and a hooligan, gets another chance.  Deserving or not.

And no one should be surprised that IK Enemkpali is the newest member of the Buffalo Bills. Coach Rex Ryan’s first move in the restructuring of the Buffalo roster was signing controversial offensive guard Richie Incognito barely three weeks after he had taken the Buffalo job.

If Ryan was willing to take on a player who had been suspended by the NFL and out of the league for nearly a year and a half due to a bullying incident in Miami, signing one of his former Jets just a day after Enemkpali slugged New York quarterback Geno Smith in the face and broke his jaw seems in line.

Now the law (and Roger Goodell and the NFL) may not see it this way, because Enemkapli’s act of aggression anywhere else would be considered aggravated assault, a punishable offense.  So while he may have a new lease on life, he also may have to lease out his locker as he may not need it for a while.

And so the question is this: does Enemkapli deserve another chance? Do YOU deserve another chance? Not just a second chance, but another chance? And who decides who deserves another chance?   Thank God it’s not you and thank God it’s not me. Thank Heaven that God decides that we all deserve another chance.  

Think about it.  

Just how many “second chances” have you had in your life?

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