Tampa Bay Buccaneers star has to defend his on-field sportsmanship

Gerald McCoy for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (©GettyImages)

When you're team have a dismal start to their new campaign and you are one of the star players, you will obviously feel the brunt of the criticism but Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been angered by some of the fault-finding from fans.

Good sportsmanship?

As a defensive leader and key piece to the franchise, McCoy will be one of the first to be criticised when the Buccaneers slumped to their fifth loss of the season to currently leave them at 1-5, but the condemnation McCoy was receiving off some fans just didn't sit right with him.

The defensive tackle has received a lot of flack on local radio stations for his tendency to help opponents off the turf after plays have finished and McCoy isn't happy with the criticism.

McCoy speaks out

He addressed the matter on Tuesday by saying: "While I'm talking about aggression, let me address something real quick, This is the last time I'm going to talk about it. If anybody has a problem with me helping people up off the field, that's a personal problem, something you're going to have to deal with."

Speaking to ESPN.com, he continued his lengthy statement: "If people really pay attention you would also notice that when the opposing team gets hurt, most of the time there's one person who walks on the field every time and says a prayer, It's me. That's who I am. That's who I'm going to be. If you don't like it, get over it. I'm going to help people up because I'm a good sportsman."

"Football is temporary. Sports are temporary. People have families, people have kids and wives and 10 years down the line, the next guy is going to be here and there's going to be another guy to talk about. What about that guy that you were so concerned about how hard he's going and he can’t play with his kids because he's out there killing himself? That's what I'm concerned about."

A really refreshing point of view from a football player caring about the sport and his fellow peers, football is often talked in life-or-death terms but McCoy understands the influence he can have outside of the NFL and is preaching a valuable message to many misguided fans.

McCoy just now needs to turn around the fortunes of his slumping team who are represented by Lovie Smith in his first season with the team.

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