The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

An inexcusable inquiry

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The other night I was invited to an alumni function to hear a lecture. After the speaker made his presentation, there was a question and answer session and someone in the audience made an offensive statement. He didn't ask a question. Instead he put his offensive statement out to the room and then see waited to see if anyone in the room of 50 people would expand on his suggestion (no one did). He didn't even suggest an answer to his first offensive statement, which was probably wise because I expect his solution would have been even more offensive. Based on a couple things he said, it seemed like he was pining for a return to the old days (he described himself as "elderly"). It was like he thought if we could only go back to how it was when he was a kid then that would solve the problem.

But we can't go back in time. We have to continue to change, grow, and learn. It doesn't seem like Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has learned this. While he isn't old himself, according to Michael Silver, Ireland has been growing up around football his entire life. Maybe the same tactics he saw used by coaches to test players during his formative years were offensive too, but that doesn't excuse him for having to know that times have changed. He can't ask straight-up whether someone's mother is a prostitute.

As ESPN's Marcellus Wiley discussed, these types of questions have been asked by Bill Parcells' teams in the past but now Wiley is re-thinking whether it was appropriate. Matt Millen thinks teams should be free to ask any questions (as they apparently have done in the past). Dolphins fans at the Phinsider believe asking that question was wrong, but that the messenger, Yahoo's Michael Silver, is the real villian here for seeking attention. These are all weak defenses. I can't see any way to justify what was said, and neither can Ireland apparently as he was very quick to contact and apologize to WR Dez Bryant.

If anything I would expect these team officials to take the opposite approach when interviewing a player. I'd rather try to talk to him like a friend, someone who just wants to listen, and see if there is anything on a player's mind.

I don't know what the NFL players association can do about things like this in the future. The best regulation would be from the players themselves. Make them aware of what happened to Dez Bryant and let them know they should inform them the next time team officials ask them offensive questions.

By Brandon Benson  |  April 30, 2010; 9:38 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , Miami Dolphins , NFL , NFL Rules Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Whistle blowing aspirations | Next: Questions complicate larger issues

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Wow. It is shocking to me that a question like that to Dez Bryant would ever be asked. There is absolutely no place in any business situation for a question like that.

Posted by: A1965bigdog | May 3, 2010 2:40 AM

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