Why Jason Pierre-Paul and Steve Weatherford Should Be Punished for Hazing Video
Jason Pierre-Paul's job is to terrorize opposing quarterbacks, not his teammates.
By now, you've heard about and probably seen the video of JPP, with the help of others, carrying cornerback Prince Amukamara, the New York Giants 2011 first-round pick, and dumping him into a cold bath.
The video, which includes foul language, shows a clearly distraught Amukamara who doesn't seem to be having nearly as much fun as everyone else.
Giants' punter Steve Weatherford initially posted the video on Twitter, but it has since been deleted.
After the video was released, many of the parties involved have discussed the incident with the media.
Mike Garafolo of the New Jersey Star-Ledger quoted Amukamara who said the following: "Yeah, no one ever likes it, especially when it’s you vs. eight and no one’s helping you. But it doesn’t mess up our team morale or anything.”
Choice words for a player under contract.
Garafolo went on to write, "Amukamara estimated he landed in the tub eight times last year. He also had his shirt and tie cut as a prank."
It’s kind of a good thing that you get dunked. I know that doesn’t sound right, but Prince is one of those guys who everybody around this room loves and we find him to be one of the most amusing guys. Again, we’re still very sensitive to the fact of the bullying epidemic that’s around this world and how people can perceive it in the wrong light. We’ll just try to be very conscious of that.
Yeah, that bullying epidemic, it's serious.
There's really no place for the excessive hazing in the NFL, but the act by itself is one thing. Posting it on Twitter to Weatherford's over 45,000 followers, all with retweeting capabilities, is another.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport opined on this childish incident today, and wrote the following, which can't be written any better: "You can argue whether or not football players are role models, but the jig is up. They are. Like it or not, millions of children look to them."
On the surface, this isn't a ridiculously egregious act of hazing, but it's unnecessary hazing nonetheless. It's horrible from a public relations standpoint for the Giants, especially with new initiatives to stop bullying being implemented in a countless amount of school districts across the country.
From a football standpoint, I don't see how this builds team camaraderie whatsoever. Isn't carrying pads after practice enough? Remember, Amukamara isn't even a rookie.
Weatherford knows what he did was wrong, and issued this apology on Twitter today.
I want to apologize to the fans... The video I posted was distasteful. Our team is a family, and we love each other. I am sorry to the fans— Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) August 19, 2012
So, what should happen to the involved parties, most namely JPP and Weatherford?
Head coach Tom Coughlin, who was quoted in Garafolo's article saying, "I’m going to look into it, I’m going to talk to the parties involved," has a chance to set a precedent that his team won't tolerate over-the-top hazing and that the Giants organization doesn't condone any type of bullying.
Should Tom Coughlin punish JPP and/or Steve Weatherford?
He needs to act.
Maybe something as minimal as Pierre-Paul carrying Amukamara's pads every day after practice. Even sitting JPP for the first series in the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys would be a deserved punishment.
As the team's only punter, it'd be more difficult to punish Weatherford on the field, but Coughlin could conjure up some consequence for his actions.
Though it's unlikely, Coughlin would earn a great deal of respect if he handed down punishments for those two after their immature actions.
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