Imagine losing a million dollars every 15 minutes.
This is what happened to Laremy Tunsil when 13 minutes before the start of the 2016 NFL draft, a video of him smoking a bong went viral.
As a former pro-football player, my heart was breaking for him. As a pastor, I wondered how he would respond.
While waiting to "Get Picked and Paid,'' it happened.
Within seconds, everyone in the sports world watched millions go down the drain as player after player was picked before him. He slid at least seven slots at about $1 million per slot.
Of course, he's still going to do just fine with his $12 million contract, but it came with a price much higher than he bargained for. Over the next few days he struggled through questions and seemed initially reluctant to even admit that it was him.
How did this happen?
What should have been the happiest day of his life was arguably the biggest nightmare in his life. However, in the end, it could be a lesson worth 10 times the millions he lost.
$100 Million Dollar Lesson
Many have argued that because so many kids get high the punishment did not fit the crime. The focus of the media's comments has been leaning more towards the wrongfulness of actions being exposed than the wrongfulness of the act itself.
What makes this potentially a defining moment in Laremy's life is whether or not he will own up to it and realize that actions do have consequences or whether he will play the "victim card."
Those who play the "victim card" have mastered the art of deflection. They have learned to live a life of trying to get away with as much as possible. When they get caught they deflect responsibility by complaining of the unfairness of the "pain of being busted."
They deflect by pointing to others who are apparently getting away with the same and worse. This does nothing but create chronic offenders.
The alternative is to go to a place I'll call "Tunsil Town."
This story and that video will live with Laremy for the rest of his life and he will need a mental, emotional and "spiritual place" to always go. My prayer is that instead of being a "victim," Laremy goes to "Tunsil Town," a place of humble repentance.
I was once told "repentance has no defense." You simply admit your wrong and stop talking — what a novel concept.
Once you begin to explain yourself, your apology turns into an excuse and your apology loses credibility. More so, you lose the opportunity to help others, and helping others helps you too.
Laremy has an opportunity to teach all of us, along with young privileged athletes, about Tunsil Town: a place of defenseless apology.
In Tunsil Town, we apologize without complaining.
Tunsil Town is a place where I realize the good that can come out of my "owning it" 100%. This brings invaluable blessings into life.
We know in our hearts that getting caught will heighten accountability in our lives, and in the long run be worth ten times the money we might lose. The benefits of getting "the wake up" about the need to carefully pick your friends will save unspeakable drama throughout his entire life.
Laremy now knows that wrong is wrong no matter the consequences he thinks might result from it.
My prayer is that "Tunsil Town" is where Laremy goes and stays, and that he is thankful that the few million he lost could pay 100 million in dividends, later.