WATCH: Former UM Footballer Gets Let Go For His Love Of Pizza
The USFL is a harsh place as former Michigan running back De'Veon Smith found out. He was cut from the Pittsburgh Maulers because he chose pizza over chicken salad.
His Coach Said He Was Being 'Disrespectful' Of The Hotel Staff
In a clip that is being passed around Twitter, Smith is told by Coach Kirby Wilson that he's being cut from the team because of a run in with hotel staff during training camp. Wilson makes it plain in the clip that it's one of his team rules.
When Smith tries to tell his side of the story, Wilson is having none of it, and effectively fires Smith.
His crime? At a team dinner, they were being served Chicken Salad, and Smith doesn't like it, so he asks a staff member for a slice of his pizza. When the staff member told him no, he asked Smith if that was a problem. "Yes!" responded Smith, and that was it.
I have to admit, the first time I saw this, I thought that Smith was being pranked by his teammates, but apparently, it was real.
The entire incident was caught on video for the league's behind-the-scenes reality show which will air after the season.
The Slapback Against The Coach Was Immediate
The reaction to the video online backed up Smith. Many thought the coach was excessively harsh in his punishment.
CamelToaster weighed in quickly:
That couch (sic) literally says “someone’s hurt feelings are a distant second to the greater good of the team” yet fired him because he told someone he wasn’t going to eat chicken salad, and their feelings got hurt. Over chicken salad.
Russell Hodges agreed:
Come on letting a man go because of pizza and this is going to help the USFL stay around. You should focus on getting support to pay the players or maybe rating to pay the bills. How many ways will these leagues fail to measure up to the NFL and you worried about pizza. Lol
Many were peeved the coach wouldn't even listen to his player's side of things:
The coach says "your side of the story doesn't matter"...wow..total disrespect.
You didn't get the mans side of the story, only one side! even businesses do a investigation, including both sides of the story! where's the union rep!
Well, the USFL doesn't have a union to my knowledge, and even if they did, in sports, there's an unwritten axiom: How much slack you are given is in direct relation to your talent level.
Smith was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2017, but was cut before the regular season began.
Smith has played in two other pro leagues, the Alliance of American Football, where he was with the Atlanta Legends, and the short live XFL revival where he played for the Tampa Bay Vipers.
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