As Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald looks to have his holdout roll into Week 1 of the regular season, it’s fair to wonder if fans have the stomach for a millionaire looking for a few more million.
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald continues his holdout as his representatives and team officials try to find an avenue to get the star player back in uniform and on the field. Already Week 1 of the regular season looks to be a victim of a team up against the cap, and a player wanting to get paid.
To date, Donald has accumulated $1.4 million in fines, and if he does not report before kickoff on Sunday, he’ll miss the first of his 2017 game checks.
But do Rams fans really have the stomach for a millionaire professional football player holding out with two years still reminding on a contract due to pay him $1.8 million this season, and $6.8 million next year?
Probably not, but the longer this goes, the less public perception will matter to Donald.
You can fault Los Angeles for some really bad deals, but it’s hard to fault the best player on your team who is underpaid when every NFL analyst knows it, and say it emphatically.
From here on out, the optics will get increasingly fuzzy as more games may be potentially missed, and depending on how Los Angeles plays. Win, and and fans won’t think to much of Donald not in uniform. Lose, and the Rams, specifically Stan Kroenke, become the source of public scorn.
Fan sentiment seldom understands the argument of a millionaire not getting more millions. But the Rams are under the gun to get something done, and eventually, Donald will begin to notice the missing game checks that make him those millions.
Whenever he gets back on the field, whatever week that may be, it’s hard to imagine what he ultimately wins. Yes, he’ll be making more money, and Los Angeles will have their best player back on the field. And yes, fans always forgive and forget.
But the Donald holdout comes at a time where fans are more interested in players playing. While most Americans don’t have $500.00 in the bank, the willingness to tolerate the millionaire athlete pleading the hardship of not making enough, doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
Perhaps fans in LA will look a little less favorable upon the superstar holdout when he eventually get back. Maybe those who pay way to much for parking, rising ticket prices, and cable or satellite fees are nearing the limit of those who don’t honor the agreement they signed.
Equitable or not, fair or not, reasonable or not, Aaron Donald will eventually get something close to what he believes he deserves.
And the Rams will welcome him back with open arms.
So will fans.
Donald deserves to make more money based on what he does, and how exceptionally well he has done it as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
He also deserves whatever criticism fans in LA send his way.