FoF: A Gun Joke Goes Wide Right

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday

If you didn’t know who Jay Feely is last Friday, there’s a good chance you know who he is now. Last weekend Feely, a former NFL kicker and current football analyst for CBS Sports, posted a picture of him wedged between his daughter and her prom date and holding a handgun. After the backlash, he responded that the picture was “obviously intended to be a joke,” and some guys agreed. We’re just messing around, right? “Touch my daughter, and I’ll drop you like third-period French!”

We get that it was a joke, and we like jokes as much as any dad does. It’s just that this one is so played out. Archaic. And … lame.

We appreciate the counterpoints. The kids are smiling (clearly no menace involved), and the gun was pointed downward, the clip was empty, and his finger was off the trigger (very good gun safety). But a young kid has no appreciation for any of that. He just sees a gun being used as a toy and thinks that’s OK. This might not be a problem in a world where every parent is perpetually watchful and every firearm is locked away safely, but in this world, where some 6,000 kids suffer some kind of gun injury each year, it’s not the image a responsible father wants to convey.

Then there’s the whole “Protect My Daughter” thing, which is problematic for a bunch of reasons (that our friends have written about here, here, and here). And from the boy’s perspective? We want to raise sons who make good decisions and treat women with respect because they want to, not because they’re in somebody’s crosshairs.

We are not here to pile on Jay Feely, because he’s a dad who loves his kids and a person who’s been through a lot. He lost his older brother tragically in his early 20s, and he takes his memory everywhere. He won a kicking job as an undrafted walk-on and built a 14-year pro career. After one particularly bad kicking day, he was parodied on Saturday Night Live and mocked by an entire city. And by all accounts, he’s survived it all because he has a smart wife who loves him and a good sense of humor.

Which is why we really want to address the more important issue here: fashion crimes. Seriously: A white belt? Before Memorial Day?


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Today is the opening of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, and like many (all?) of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it is full of issues that pertain to fatherhood. Common Sense Media suggests that parents mind the rating (PG-13), but others believe kids should be allowed to see it on an individual basis, especially if they’ve seen other films in the MCU. Either way, it’s going to be huge and very dad-centric.

Are you taking your kids to see it?

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