De’Veon Smith has a lot of buzz surrounding his name this week, but none of it will help him reach his goal of getting to the National Football League.
The USFL kicked off its 2022 season over the weekend, but one bit of news overshadowed everything. It was a personnel decision involving a former Michigan standout, a 60-year-old coach, and chicken salad.
Running back De’Veon Smith was let go by the Pittsburgh Maulers for apparently violating the code of conduct set by coach Kirby Wilson. In a video showing Smith receiving the news from Wilson, it appears he had a “disrespectful” interaction between him and a team staff member serving his lunch.
It’s chicken salad vs. pizza and he chose the wrong thing.
“He crossed a line, so we had to deal with it,” Wilson said into the camera. “Line 46 [of the team handbook] addresses that: Any disrespect of football or members, staff, hotel, etc., will not be tolerated.’”
According to Smith, he was offered chicken salad and declined, then asked if he could have pizza instead. When told no, Smith says the staffer asked him whether that would be a problem, to which he replied yes.
Smith would eventually respond to everything on Twitter:
There’s likely more to this story because this seems like a situation that was either the straw that broke the camel’s back or the head coach was simply looking for any reason to part ways with Smith.