There is a difference between doing your job and being a complete moron. It’s a thin line, a line that The Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland bull-rushed over with some force when he asked Cowboys prospect Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute during pre-draft scouting. This is an insensitive question for anyone and especially a young man whose mother has had her problems (His mother had him at 15 and spent time in jail for dealing crack.)
Ireland has since “apologized” for the transgression, “My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I’m considering drafting. Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions.” I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, you are paying this guy millions you want to know if he’s good people but this question was just stupid. If the question has a legitimate correlation to the way a player will play on the field and act in the locker room by all means ask away. But asking if his mother is a prostitute is just a good way to get your ass kicked. Dez Bryant told Yahoo! sports that “I got mad, really mad. But I didn’t show it.” I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had shown it.
Michael Wilbon wouldn’t have blamed him either. Wilbon described the question on PTI as so, “That’s not an interview question, that’s insulting.” And he was right on the money. Wilbon took a clear frustration to the question, “If Dez Bryant would have gotten up and turned the desk over on this guy that would have been in bounds.” He mentioned the arrogance of the NFL, the too big to fail aspect. In all honesty the NFL is too big to fail but that is only the case because of the NFL’s unflinchingly strict policies.
I have to give Wilbon credit for being so blunt and energized about this subject. Being a Washington man I respect the guy but don’t always agree with him. He got it totally right on this one though.
The NFL has to watch out for this type of arrogance, and even after Ireland’s apology this is a black eye to the Dolphins organization. The comments were obviously inappropriate and unnecessary but I cannot for the life of me understand why he would present a question with no background whatsoever. His mother has had issues with the law but no prostitution arrests and no indication that she was a prostitute.
Matt Millen, ex-GM of the Detroit Lions had an interesting perspective on the whole issue. “”We’re making a big deal out of something that’s probably not that big a deal.” He talked about the fact that GMs are looking for a reaction when it comes to questions of that caliber. Well Matt, what should GMs be looking for? The issue may not be a big deal to Dez, I don’t know. But Ireland has no business asking a stupid question for the purposes of seeing a fella get angry (or stay calm in Bryant’s case.) Either way it’s a stupid reason to ask if a player’s mother was ever a prostitute.
Tags: Miami Dolphins, NFL Draft