PBR’s announcement that J.B. Mauney had opted not to compete at the Kansas City Event stated, “J.B. will take the week off to rest a bruised left groin and pelvis sustained back in New York.”
A few days later, Leah Garcia asked J.B. Mauney on Twitter how he was feeling. He tweeted, “feeling okay. just wanna take this weekend off to heal up. No plans for next weekend just wanna get on bulls.” Fan replies were entirely supportive and included advising him to stay healthy and heal up.
Leah also asked her Twitter followers to voice their opinions about J.B. not competing at the Kansas City event. Again, the replies were supportive of his decision. For example, one Twitter user’s reply simply said, “Good idea,” and another said, “He knows what is best.”
I totally agree. J.B. made an informed decision based on what he believed was best for himself and his long-term plan for this season and beyond. In other words, he’s looking at the big picture. Why risk further injury when there were still 20 events left to the BFTS season?
So I ask, What’s the difference between J.B. choosing to take a week off and Silvano Alves choosing not to take a re-ride? Is there anything wrong with simply taking a week off while other riders dealing with injuries are still competing? Shouldn’t J.B. “cowboy up” (to use a term many PBR fans use as justification for why Silvano should take re-rides)?
No. Neither of these extremely talented riders should put himself in a position to jeopardize his health and, in turn, his career. It’s no secret that Silvano’s stellar winnings correlate to his ability to stay healthy. Being healthy is key to being able to win. They both know it, and both are smart enough to see the big picture with their long-term health and careers in mind.
In fact, this type of decision-making exists across all professional sports. So why is there such disdain and vitriol from fans and PBR commentators when Silvano declines a re-ride? (Looking at you, J.Dub, Ty, Shorty, and Cody Lambert.)
Riders are well within their rights to exercise these options. The only difference I see is nationality.