We all knew it was going to happen and then it did. Politics worked its way into the NFL MVP conversation. Little known journalist, Hub Arkush, said what a number of voters may have been thinking when he declared personal reasons would be behind his non-Aaron Rodgers vote this season.
“I don’t think you can be the biggest jerk in the league and punish your team, and your organization and your fan base the way he did and be the Most Valuable Player,” Arkush said on the 670 the Score. “Has he been the most valuable on the field? Yeah, you could make that argument, but I don’t think he is clearly that much more valuable than Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp or maybe even Tom Brady. So from where I sit, the rest of it is why he’s not gonna be my choice. Do I think he’s gonna win it? Probably. A lot of voters don’t approach it the way I do, but others do, who I’ve spoken to. But one of the ways we get to keep being voters is we’re not allowed to say who we are voting for until after the award has been announced. I’m probably pushing the envelope by saying who I’m not voting for. But we’re not really supposed to reveal our votes.”
Unsurprisingly Green Bay Packers head coach Matt Lafleur is not a fan of Arkush or anyone who base their decisions on anything other than “how somebody goes out and performs on a weekly basis.”
One day after Arkush’s comments Greg Matzek asked LaFleur “in your opinion, should MVP voting be considered based upon solely what happens on the field versus things that happen off the field?” Lafleur was quick to fire back:
Yeah, absolutely, without a doubt. I don’t know what else could factor into it than how somebody goes out and performs on a weekly basis, and if people are going to judge people for differences of opinions or things that they have no idea what the heck they are talking about, then I think that just kind of discredits that award. We hold that award in high regard, I think most do, and I think it’s an absolute privilege to be able to vote for that award. And to consider anything else outside of what you see when that player is out there playing is a disservice to everybody.
There will certainly always be a level of bias in award voting in sports. But, with the fast and pointed response of so many coaches, players and media members, hopefully the people who think like Arkush will rethink their stance.