ESPN NFL analyst and former Viking Cris Carter is in hot water for telling the truth.
Speaking at the 2014 rookie symposium, on stage with of all people former NFLer Warren Sapp, Carter said something that most people with common sense already suspected: When you’re a pro athlete in a tight spot, get one of your boys (or a woman?) to take responsibility for what you did wrong.
In his own unfortunate words, captured on undeniable video, Carter said, “And just in case y’all not gone [reader, please read “gone” as are going to; the grammar is an English teacher’s nightmare] decide to do the right thing. If y’all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew.”
It was such a church-like utterance that Sapp snickered and bounced his head before dropping off camera.
Before returning to his cynical mantra — that is not the advice one should give young people — Carter did something worse. He invited Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater on stage.
“Teddy, come here, bro,” Carter said. “Now, if they gone keep rolling on Teddy’s bankroll — ’cause each one of y’all in business for yourself. This right here is Teddy Bridgewater, Inc. That’s him! Every dime that comes into Teddy is goin’ to be earned by him and his body. Now, [I’d] let my homeboys know: If y’all going to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who gone be the fall guy, who gone be driving.
“Because y’all not going to all do the right stuff,” Carter predicted. “I’ve got to teach y’all how to get around all this stuff, too. If you gone have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We’ll get him out.”
The rookies laughed at this performance, conducted while Carter was wearing (disgracing?) his 2013 yellow Hall of Fame blazer.
Continuing to besmirch Bridgewater’s good name and his own image, Carter said: “You from Miami, now? Y’all take care of each other. Now, don’t you got a guy that would take care of you and that would be a good deal?”
I wish Bridgewater had said, I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about here. But he was a rookie and the man doing the talking is a HOFer.
Bridgewater nodded his head and Carter let him sit down but continued to preach the disgraceful.
“I know none of y’all gone never drink, never use no drugs. All y’all gone go to Bible study. But still, get you a fall guy. If you gone have a crew make sure they understand that can’t nothing happen to you.”
Both the NFL and ESPN, the sports network that employs Carter, have condemned his advice about avoiding responsibility when in trouble, now that it’s gone public.
“The video was brought to light after a recent ESPN the Magazine interview with former San Francisco 49er Chris Borland, [who] retold the story, but wouldn’t identify who said it. Video of the symposium had been archived on NFL.com, with Carter and Warren Sapp talking to players,” ESPN reported. The video has since been removed from NFL.com, reports Deadspin.com.
Perhaps it’s a good idea to have Hall of Famers who have overcome personal problems talk reality to the rookies. A drug and alcohol problem got Carter bounced by the Eagles. But I would think, given the NFL’s new sensitivity to abuse, that Sapp wouldn’t ever make a sanctioned NFL appearance around rookies. According to Wikipedia, in February 2010 Sapp was not to allowed to perform his Super Bowl analyst duties after getting arrested in Florida and charged with domestic battery. Those charges were dropped and Sapp retained his job with the NFL Network until February when he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute and assault, and the NFL Network terminated his contract.
I rather doubt either Carter or Sapp will be invited to tutor rookies again, despite Carter’s belated regret on Twitter: “Seeing that video has made me realize how wrong I was. I was brought there to educate young people and instead I gave them very … bad advice. Every person should take responsibility for his own actions. I’m sorry and I truly regret what I said that day.”
The standard English suggests that Carter did not write these tweets.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.