Osi Umenyiora is angry with the front office of the New York “football” Giants. After a promise and assurance that he would be given a raise on par with the best defensive ends in the league were he to continue playing at a high level (which he did), the Giants didn’t keep their word. Anyone Surprised? I didn’t think so. Here is the sworn affidavit:
“In early April 2008, approximately two weeks before the start of the New York Giants offseason conditioning program, I, Osi Umenyiora, had a meeting with the general manager of the New York Giants, Mr. Jerry Reese.
“After about an hour of discussing my current contract, as well as the contracts of other defensive ends currently playing in the National Football League, Mr. Reese told me that two years from the start of the 2008 league year, if I was currently playing at a high level, we’d either renegotiate my current contract so that it would be equal to that of the top five defensive ends playing or I would be traded to a team that would do that.
“Before leaving the meeting, I asked Mr. Reese twice if he was absolutely sure that would be the case. He then told me that he was an honest and church-going man and that he would not lie, which I believed to be the case. Under the penalty of perjury these statements are true and accurate.”
Senior ESPN NFL writer, Dan Graziano, blogged that unfulfilled ‘assurances’ and ‘guarantees’ happen all the time in professional sports. The only person to blame for this mess, he said, is Umenyiora, for he should have known better and asked to have something in writing. Graziano is 100% correct- if you want to hold people to their word, get it in writing; otherwise it’s meaningless.
But herein lies the problem: is it bothersome that no one can be trusted? Who is saddened to learn that one’s word is nothing more than an attempt to keep people happy in the short term? Whatever happened to the Biblical command to “observe and carry out what emerges from your lips?” The Bible spent so much ink reminding each of us not only to fulfill our promises, but to do so in a timely manner. Yet we completely ignore it’s authority and directive.
I know that many people are quick to point out that the Bible is out of touch with our modern culture and is an archaic book. Yet they have never pointed to these verses to prove their hypothesis. That’s because everyone agrees in principal that one’s word is binding and carries significant weight. It signifies trust, honesty, and integrity between parties, colleagues, acquaintances, friends, and family. Unfortunately, this basic human value is becoming a thing of the past.
So, does anyone care to be honest? Yeah, only if it’s in writing.