Buffalo Bills linebacker and team captain Lorenzo Alexander encouraged his teammates Friday to keep an open mind about quarterback Josh Allen but acknowledged that the No. 7 overall pick might have to answer to racially insensitive tweets that surfaced this week.
“What I’m gonna do is extend some grace and wait to get to know the kid and see how he develops,” Alexander told the Bills’ official radio program. “And that’s how you got to approach it.
“Now, everyone might not have that same approach. I would encourage every teammate in our locker room to do that, but he’s gonna have to at some point, whether he does it in front of the whole team or one-off. Somebody’s gonna ask him, ‘Why did you say that?’ or ‘Why were you quoting those words?’
“It’s something that I’ve considered,” Allen said. “It’s something when I get to meet the guys, I get a sense of how they feel and what they say to me. I definitely would consider doing that. It’s something that I wouldn’t be afraid or ashamed of doing. But I wouldn’t know until I got to meet everybody and got a feel for how they feel about it.”
Alexander noted Friday that Allen was raised in Firebaugh, California, a city with about a 1 percent African-American population.
“I’m not gonna be ignorant enough to assume that he understands the [N-]word as I understand it and a lot of people understand it,” Alexander said. “Because growing up in a culture, especially around a guy like Eminem, there are certain aspects of our culture that think it’s OK to say it, whether you’re white or black. I’ve actually witnessed some black kids allow their white friends to use the word and not think twice about it.
Darvish gave up nine runs, 14 hits and eight walks in his previous two outings, losses to Atlanta and Colorado. Maddon met with Darvish this week in Cleveland and told the 31-year-old right-hander to focus on one pitch at a time.
“Sometimes when you need to get out of your zone, you need to be reminded of it,” Maddon said. “That was above-and-beyond good stuff.”
Darvish said he felt like he was lapsing after Milwaukee starter Brent Suter singled off him in the fifth, but Maddon’s advice kept him on track.
“We talked about not worrying about the previous pitch and what happened in the past, but concentrating on the pitch I’m about to throw,” Darvish recalled. “Don’t worry about the past and keep going.”