Mike Wilbon said the other day that the NFL is the most arrogant of the four major sports in America. I didn’t understand what he meant when he said until this morning when I awoke to hear the news of the degrading and downright insulting line of questioning that former Oklahoma State and current Dallas Cowboys draft pick Dez Bryant. If you haven’t heard the Miami Dolphins and their general manager Jeff Ireland thought it would be a great idea to ask the potential draft choice if his mother was a prostitute. His lame excuse was:
"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I’m considering drafting," Ireland said in a statement. "Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions. Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him."
Guess what Ireland? That is so disrespectful that the words to properly convey the level of disrespect has yet to be invented. I get that you only want to have players who are morally above reproach and classy guys. In that respect does the mistakes of the parents reflect poorly on the child? Remember the case of Ray Ray McElrathbey? He was the kid who gained custody of his younger brother while still at Clemson University because of his mother’s drug addiction. Seems like a kid who got it together even though he came from an awful background and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Howard University. Ryan Leaf on the other hand, a kid who came from a relatively normal background yet turned out to be a massive bust and was eventually was arrested for drug possesion.
I think what makes this whole situation even more unacceptable is that if Bryant retaliated against this guy and say smacked the ever loving dumbassness out of him Bryant undoubtedly would have been vilified as a headcase. Or how about if he asked Ireland is he ever paid for sex, the point is Bryant’s job is to catch a football. He’s not a spiritual leader, not a teacher, just a football player.
There are a lot of people who claim that this is being blown out of proportion, stating people go through background and credit checks all the time for jobs. True, I have, if you’re reading this you probably have but here is the key difference. These checks are based on what the applicant have done, not what his family may have done.
You have all the right in the world to check and see what type of person you may be paying millions of dollars to, but at the same time you have to respect the player, because without them you may find yourself interviewing for a job and maybe mom’s alcoholism or dad’s adultery is on the table. Then let’s see if you think that employer is just doing his due diligence.