In a pre-draft interview, Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked then-Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant whether or not his mother, who had a history of selling drugs, was a prostitute as well.
I imagine Bryant was a back taken back by the question, but clearly he answered the question and the interview proceeded. That was it, and both moved on. But, of course, leave it to someone in the media looking to create some controversy to report on this question and then make a big deal about it.
It’s certainly not an appropriate question out on the street, but anyone who is upset over this doesn’t understand the point of a pre-draft interview. All the teams are trying to do is see how the player reacts when put in certain situations.
Whether that’s asking Myron Rolle if he felt he abandoned his teammates for a season when he went to study for a year in Oxford, or anything else that teams might throw at these players to gauge their reaction.
I would even go so far as to say the question might have crossed a line because it’s about his mother, but it’s certainly not the big deal everyone is making it out to be. The NFL has even come out, in a public relations maneuver, and scolded Ireland for the question because of the pressure put on them from the outside.
I’m quite confident that if we asked former NFL personnel guys who take part in similar interviews, they would say they’ve heard, and even asked, questions much more outrageous than that. Teams have to be sure about the player they’re going to invest millions in, and if that means asking them off-the-wall questions, then so be it.
Unlike other professions, this guy will be getting a lot of his money up-front, so it’s important to know everything about these players that a team possibly can. Ireland was simply doing his due diligence to get a glimpse of how Bryant could react to a situation he purposefully made uncomfortable for him.
Bryant obviously didn’t fly off the handle and hit Ireland, and even reportedly accepted his apology given after the draft, so he must have understood why the question was asked, even though he was reportedly, and understandably, very angry at the time.
So if Bryant understands it, and Ireland has said he feels like he crossed a line and is remorseful, then what in the hell are we still talking about?