Jay Feely’s homage to the “Reggie” scene from Bad Boys 2 drew ire over the weekend.
Let’s look at the image through three lenses: comedic value, civic value, and family value.
In less than 2 days, Jay’s post received 132K likes. But here’s a better litmus test: if you have to explain that you were joking, you probably missed the mark.
The prom picture I posted was obviously intended to be a joke. My Daughter has dated her boyfriend for over a year and they knew I was joking.
I take gun safety seriously (the gun was not loaded and had no clip in) and I did not intend to be insensitive to that important issue
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 22, 2018
As our national dialogue concerning guns in schools unfolds, this prom season is one of the least funny times to be juxtaposing firearms and high school events. To thrive as kicker in the NFL for 14 years, Jay’s sense of timing needed to be extraordinary. Clearly, one’s sense of physical timing does not necessarily translate into comedic timing.
Jay identifies himself as a “CBS Sports NFL/college football analyst” on his Twitter page. Jay’s bio on the CBS Sports web page shows that he received “Man of the Year” honors from four different NFL teams and is hailed as an active member of the philanthropic community. Jay’s heart certainly seems to be in the right place.
By posing with a gun as a joke, Jay’s is perpetuating the myth that it’s okay to do so. Let’s take Jay’s word that, to the best of his knowledge, the gun was unloaded and did not have a clip. Other gun owners might not be as careful. Add alcohol to the scene – to more completely emulate Will Smith from the movie scene – and the risk profile degrades further. This is just not the type of behavior that should be encouraged.
Jay appears to be completely tone deaf to the situation. This was his daughter’s prom!
Everyone in the picture has a path to choose to moving forward. Here’s my recommendation for each:
- Jay: Rid your house of guns; period. Guns are guns. Guns are never not guns. You’ve gotten away with (at least) one mistake of treating a gun like a comedic prop in the presence of your precious daughter and her boyfriend. Wake up, realize that you’ve just proven that you’re not as committed to gun safety as you espouse, and take action that will make your home gun safe from an accidental gun incident.
- Jay’s daughter: Smack your dad upside the head. This was your day, not his. You have even bigger days in the future; so, take the opportunity to draw a bright line for acceptable behavior moving forward. He may still pay the bills, but that does not prevent you from being an adult. You don’t need this sh*t on your wedding day.
- Jay’s daughter’s date: Don’t be going over to the Feely house, anymore. Period. Your date’s dad demonstrated questionable judgment in bringing a gun into the picture (pun intended). You don’t need to risk what might happen next time there’s gun play in the house. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, so paddle away to calmer waters. Your parents want you casting shadows on the daisies, not vice-versa.