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NFL player’s kind gesture turns into big gaffe

DeAngelo Williams is a running back for the Carolina Panthers. He’s pretty good (I had him on my fantasy team a few years ago) and apparently a nice guy.

Monday he tweeted a picture of a Marine sitting in the boarding area before a flight, coupled with DeAngelo’s first-class ticket. His way of showing respect and support for the troops this Fourth of July weekend was to give his seat up to this veteran. Awesome right? Yay, DeAngelo!

Then it got weird.

Firstly, there is an argument about doing the right thing without having to take credit for it on Twitter and reaping the PR from it, but I digress.

Secondly, and most disturbingly, is the argument that has broken out over is the man in the picture an actual Marine. To the civilians amongst us, he certainly looks like a Marine, with all the badges, accessories and accoutrements we expect to see in a military uniform.

But if I am to believe the Marines who have weighed in on this, this man is certainly no Marine and is actually violating the Stolen Valor law. The problem seems to center around HOW he is wearing the uniform, from his cover (hat) being worn indoors to the placement of the medals to the fact “dress blues” are not supposed to be worn while traveling.

It is certainly not DeAngelo’s fault for not knowing the Marines’ detailed dress code, and a lot of people appreciate the gesture either way, but sadly it may make some people think twice before doing something similar.