In the newest episode of When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, we have an appearance from an NFL Hall of Famer. Former Minnesota Viking star, and Hall of Fame WR, Cris Carter decided that he would give the rookies some “valuable” advice during his speech at the 2014 NFL rookie symposium. While he was delivering his speech, I assume he had a “keep it real” moment with the young guys and gave this interesting suggestion – he advised them to have a “fall guy” within their entourage just in case they ever get into trouble off the field. Yep, he said that out loud, on the mic, on purpose. Here is the actual quote:
“I let my homeboys know, y’all want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who gonna be the fall guy, who’s going to be driving. Y’all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I’ve got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We’ll get him out. … If you’re going to have a crew, make sure they understand, can’t nothing happen to you. Your name can’t be in lights, under no circumstances. You all understand that?”
Cris Carter did apologized via Twitter for making these remarks and owning up to the fact that he was wrong in relaying such advice:
“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.”
Listen, I get what he’s trying to say, hell, it’s actually a current practice that’s being used and has been used for decades throughout all of pro and collegiate sports. However, you CANNOT say these things like this out loud, in that setting, in this era. EVERYONE has a smartphone with a camera, EVERYONE perceives things differently nowadays, and in the year 2015 people are much touchier than they have ever been in history. Quite naturally, the NFL and ESPN have condemned his comments and while he has probably been contacted by ESPN’s PR and HR departments, I highly doubt he will be disciplined by the network this time because it wasn’t on their dime; nor were the remarks disparaging against a certain person/race or current situation. I always say this: Freedom of Speech isn’t always free, you can lose your money, reputation, or the respect that people have for you. His rep may take a dip on this one.