Nickelodeon surprised some when they revealed recently that Spongebob Squarepants, a beloved children’s cartoon character, is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The news was in honor of pride month. However, not everybody agrees with the announcement. Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Damon Arnette found himself in some hot water after sharing his thoughts on social media.
It started when Arnette retweeted a message from a parody Spongebob Squarepants account that was responding to the news from Nickelodeon. The message contains NSFW language and can be viewed here.
Arnette was hit with some blowback for retweeting the message. He decided to clarify his position on the matter.
As of the writing of this, Arnette has yet to delete the original message he retweeted.
Raiders Are Excited About Arnette
Controversy aside, Arnette is likely going to be a key contributor for the Raiders in 2020. They’ve got a really young secondary and need him to make an impact. Though some considered him a reach, head coach Jon Gruden explained to Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News why the Raiders took him in the first round:
I just look at his tape. I’ve heard people say, ‘he’s not a first-round pick on our board.’ Well, whose board are we talking about? Then if you’re in to analytics, according to Profootballfocus.com he had the the best QB rating against him of any corner in the draft. I mean, he’s a hell of a player. That’s why I like him. He played at Ohio State. He played big in big games. He’s an excellent tackler, a confident corner. He’s comfortable in bump and run. When we watched him play against good receivers he played good. And he just gives us something we need, something we cherish here. A physical, press confident corner that’s not afraid to hit you.
Arnette is old for a rookie but that could end up helping the Raiders. The team is really young at cornerback and Arnette should be ready to contribute from day one.
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Will Arnette Start Week 1?
When the Raiders drafted Arnette in the first round, it seemed like it was almost a sure thing he would be the other starter opposite Trayvon Mullen when the season started. However, the team signed veteran Prince Amukamara. He just spent a few seasons starting for a strong Chicago Bears defense.
Arnette will get a chance to start at some point, but it’s going to be hard for him to beat out Amukamara considering a lot of offseason workouts are canceled. To start the season, it seems like the good bet would be to expect Amukamara and Mullen to start on the outside with LaMarcus Joyner covering the slot. That said, there’s a real shot that Arnette takes Amukamara’s spot at some point and fellow rookie Amik Robertson takes Joyner’s spot. That would mean there would only be one year of experience between three starting cornerbacks. That would be a gamble for the Raiders but it could pay off.