Jeff Ireland, Is Your Mother a Prostitute?: Dez Bryant Incident Shows NFL Issues

Reid BrooksAnalyst IApril 28, 2010

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 5:  Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys speaks at the dedication of the Boone Pickens Stadium before his team takes on the Georgia Bulldogs on September 5, 2009 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I really hope this latest fiasco doesn't get back to Mike Gundy.

The last thing the football world needs is another "I'm a man! I'm 40!" defense from the Oklahoma State coach.

But it seems that his latest victimized player, Dez Bryant, is an immediate controversy in the NFL (though the reason is substantially different than most people would have expected).

It surfaced today that Jeff Ireland is the NFL "big man" who asked Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview if his mother was a prostitute. Brace for a firestorm of commentary, Miami Dolphins fans.

Now before I get into the implications of such a question, take a deep breath and relax; think some happy thoughts. Maybe close your eyes and pretend you're at the beach soaking in the sunlight.

Now that your mind is clear, I'd like you to pretend that you're going to a job interview with the State Department. It doesn't matter if you would never interview for a job with the State Department; pretend you were recently fired and it is the only job interview you could get.

Now I want you to imagine that you sit down at the table and go through a 30-minute interview process in which everything you could possibly imagine goes well.

At the end of it, Hillary Clinton walks in the room, right before you have the job wrapped up, and says:

"Excuse me, Mr./Mrs. _______, I just have one final question. Is your mother a prostitute?"

As far as I can tell there are only three possible responses to this question:

A) " Yep, you caught me!"

B) *awkwardly* "Not anymore..."

C) Stand up and punch the interviewer in the face.

For anyone whose mother isn't a prostitute, the correct answer is option C. If your mother has been/is currently engaging in prostitution, you should answer A or B.

Now let's get real—no one in their right mind would ever answer "yes" to that question, so it serves no purpose other than to severely aggravate the recipient.

As far as I can tell, Ireland is sincerely sorry for the mistake. That is why he came out and apologized for it when he didn't have to.

He could have just let this keep sliding under the radar for all eternity.

But even with that, this whole situation highlights two big facts about the NFL.


Fact No. 1

NFL players are held to a higher standard than NFL executives.

Obviously, in the NFL players are in the spotlight setting an example for kids. I get that. They need to act like grownups.

I wouldn't try to defend Ben Roethlisberger's recent actions or the actions of many other big-name NFL players in recent memory.

However, Ireland and Jerry Jones have both recently engaged in some major faux pas incidents, and I haven't seen any punitive actions handed down by their organizations. It must be good to be king.

In any other circumstance, if you were conducting an interview and asked a question like that to the participant, you would be deservedly slapped with a lawsuit—and you would settle out of court for a large amount of money.

There is a certain level of hypocrisy behind closed doors in NFL franchises that fans really need to be aware of. Ireland should not get away from this without a punishment of some sort (what that should be, I have no idea).

It is probably more disturbing that there are many other people who asked Bryant similar things in other organizations (according to him).


Fact No. 2

Dez Bryant's character issues are massively overblown, and if you needed any more proof that the Dallas Cowboys absolutely stole him, this incident is it.

The fact that Bryant showed the self-restraint to not get up and flail Ireland with any object nearby speaks volumes to his character. So despite the fact that the question had nothing to do with him, I think it did get the information it was secretly snooping around for:

Dez Bryant does not have a character problem.


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