It is easy for fans to sit at their computer and log into their social media networks and bash professional athletes. As fans always respond with the usual "they are getting paid millions to play a game" narrative, sometimes they forget these are real human beings, with real problems and real issues. In the case of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant being suspended for one year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy again, fans were livid at the news.
However, despite the income and their occupation, some of these athletes have very real issues which can hinder their play on the field. Bryant isn't, and won't be, the only player to have issues off the field. One of those players who also had troubles off the field is teammate Le'Veon Bell. Bell was suspended the first two games of the 2015 season for his escapades with LeGarrette Blount where the All-Pro running back was suspended for a DUI.
Recently, Bell joined NFL Media podcast R&B with NFL Network analysts Michael Robinson and Nate Burleson, and he chimed in on several topics ranging from his new mix tape, the nickname "Juice", the upcoming season, his knee injury and obviously Bryant's suspension.
As for Bryant, he understands what he is going through, and had some words of advice for the troubled wide receiver from Clemson.
"I was just in a similar situation obviously when I got suspended. When the news first hits and it's on ESPN and Twitter and everything, it hurts especially when you know it's about to come out because he probably knew a couple days before. When it actually comes out, it's not something you can prepare for.
"People are going to tell you that they hate you and all of these negative things, but you have to understand you're human. You're a human being. I'm pretty sure if he wanted to be perfect - if he could be perfect he would, but he can't be perfect. He can't be perfect, I can't be perfect - nobody can.
"We all make mistakes. His mistake is more glorified because of what he does for a living. But he has to understand that he's a human being. He makes mistakes, he's going to learn from it, he's going to come back from it. I guess he's not doing the appeal so he's just going to take the suspension. I'm going to obviously be there for Martavis whenever he needs to talk to me. I haven't reached out to him yet because I remember when I was in that situation, I didn't really want to talk that much. But I was going to reach out to him when I felt like everything had kind of calmed down a little bit and just kind of talk to him.
"I'm pretty sure when he gets back, he's going to learn from all of this and he's going to be a better player from it and a better person. That's what you have to do, you have to overcome it and be a better person."
Bell absolutely has faith Bryant can return to the field and put his troubled past behind him and move on. All Steelers fans, and the Steelers organization, hope Bryant is able to do just that in 2017.