Get off Deng's back, Bulls fans

There's a disturbing pattern that emerges when star athletes get hurt.

Just about anytime sports fans question an injury to a player, the first thing that is questioned is that player's "manhood." The player is even more scrutinized when the injury occurs before or during a playoff game.

Next, fans run to social media questioning that player's mettle without having all the facts. And once they learn the facts, there are still those who are not as forgiving as they should be.

Now Luol Deng has entered the category of "questionable" sports injuries along with Derrick Rose and Jay Cutler.

When I first heard about Deng not playing because he had the flu, like most people I said, "Jordan played with the flu, why can't he?" Then I snapped out of Stupid Armchair Doctor Bulls Fan Mode. I found out that Deng had been tested for meningitis and underwent a spinal tap procedure.

Then I said, "Yeah, I know what it is like to undergo a meningitis test." Two years ago during the holidays, a doctor stuffed a needle in my spine (Think Season 2 of "Boardwalk Empire"). I was placed on my side. Then the doctor inserted the needle into my spine, and because of an involuntary reflex, I kicked a chair across the room.

The procedure was scary. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. The worst part is the tension headaches afterward. They are so intense that you can't see, much less play basketball. Also, I had an MRI exam done after that procedure. If Deng needed the same test, it's not fun for someone his size to be crammed into that machine.

Even though Deng was released from the hospital, the headaches don't go away for a few days. So don't worry, Bulls fans. Deng will be back soon. I think we can cut him some slack.

The Bulls fans who were in a hurry to write off Deng as "soft" likely didn't realize that he just went through a real and scary thing.

Remember how people said that if you have not gone through an ACL tear like Rose did, you should shut up? Well, that's good advice in Deng's case, too.

Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge
    Man fatally shot after argument over woman at South Loop lounge

    An argument over a woman led to one man being killed and another wounded during a shooting inside a South Loop music lounge early Saturday, police said.

  • Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise
    Oklahoma fraternity's racist chant learned on a cruise

    Members of a University of Oklahoma fraternity apparently learned a racist chant that recently got their chapter disbanded during a national leadership cruise four years ago that was sponsored by the fraternity's national administration, the university's president said Friday.

  • In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing
    In NYC building collapse, mayor cites 'inappropriately' tapped gas line; 2 missing

    Someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before an explosion that leveled three apartment buildings and injured nearly two dozen people, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday as firefighters soaked the still-smoldering buildings and police searched for at least two missing people.

  • Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden
    Emanuel uses borrowing to cope with Daley's debt burden

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reduced spending and increased fines, fees and certain taxes to shrink the chronic budget deficits left over from his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

  • Six Flags Great America's lost attractions
    Six Flags Great America's lost attractions

    Not every ride's the Willard's Whizzer. That iconic coaster debuted in 1976 when Marriott's Great America, now Six Flags Great America, in Gurnee, Ill., first opened. And it's still popular today. But for every Whizzer there's a Tidal Wave, Shockwave or Z-Force, rides existing only in memory.

  • Denim's just getting started
    Denim's just getting started

    Five years ago, denim-on-denim defied all of the dire warnings in the "Undateable" handbook: Instead of evoking John Denver or Britney Spears in her misstyled youth, chambray shirts paired with darker blue jeans became as cool as actor Johnny Depp and street-style heroine Alexa Chung.