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Redskins’ Josh Norman downplays the risks of jumping bulls

Josh Norman

Josh Norman is right: Getting behind the wheel of a car is far more dangerous than it seems to comfortable to admit. The stigma of danger associated with the vast majority of extreme sports is overblown, too. But running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain? As a professional athlete with an eight-figure salary? It’s fair to say that combination lends itself to far more health and financial risk than the rest of us driving to work or the grocery store.

The Washington Redskins cornerback, of course, didn’t just join the masses in running away from a charging bull on a recent trip to Spain, either. He intentionally stared the animal down and leapt over the top of its horns, earning the local nickname of El Saltador, “The Jumper,” in the process.

A week removed from his planned brush with serious injury, Norman still can’t fathom its generated so much controversy.

“You can just go outside your front door and get in the car and something happens to you, an accident happens,” he said, per Scott Allen of the Washington Post. “You were safe. You can even go out there and be in practice, and be on the football field and tear an ACL. You were safe. I can go out there and run with the bulls and I do something exciting, and something that brings out the best in me in my life, in my world, and I win at that, I become victorious at that, and it’s an issue. I don’t understand it. Because it’s something I feel like I’m doing, that’s bringing peace and bringing joy to me, and I’m excited. [Did I] weigh the risks? Of course. I never would’ve done it if I didn’t.”

One of those risks: The remaining two seasons of the five-year, $75 million contract Norman signed with Washington in 2016. It bears reminding that Norman is a thrill-seeker. He’s driven race cars, sky dived, and flown with the Navy’s Blue Angels. Norman, as he says, knew exactly what he was getting himself into.

But that doesn’t make his analogy, nor the risk-reward of literally jumping over the head of a charging bull, much better. Norman is absolutely deserving of his “hero” status in Spain, though.