Is your Mom a Prostitute?

Not your run-of-the-mill interview question, unless of course you are Dez Bryant, now of the Dallas Cowboys.

Much was made of Miami Dolphins General Manager John Ireland’s question to Mr. Bryant before this year’s NFL draft. The talking heads and moms everywhere were angry.  How could one ask such a question? Human Resources would not be pleased.

Ireland is an idiot, end of news cycle story, right? Yep, unless you actually took the time to this follow-up article, it gets interesting.

Anyone who knows football knows Dez Bryant is the epitome of risk.  The kid was known to have attitude and work-ethic problems at Oklahoma State.  He was suspended for most of his last year in college for lying to the NCAA about his relationship with several NFL players (a big no-no).  He was not exactly a Rhodes Scholar in school.  So when the issue of his parents came up, here is {EDIT } what Dolphin insiders allegede what was said when Bryant was asked what his father did when he was growing up (Dez Bryant now claims this is a lie):

“My dad was a pimp.”

“What did your mom do [for a living]?”

“She worked for my dad.”

“Your mom was a prostitute?”

“No, she wasn’t a prostitute.”

Now, perhaps the question was a little too blunt.  Some might say it was unneccessary to begin with.  What, after all, does his mom have to do with his ability to play football? Well, when you are about to pay a 21 year old kid with a history of discipline and attitude problems millions of dollars, you do some back-checking.  See, in the NFL, the difference between those who make it big and those who don’t often comes down to personal character and commitment.  All of those guys are athletic freaks so the ones who end up doing well are usually the ones who work hard, stay out of trouble and who have a solid head on their shoulders.  Thus, the NFL does extensive research into the backgrounds of its potential players and their friends and families. So when you hear that his father was allegedly a pimp and his mother spent 18 months in jail for cocaine trafficking, after having 3 children by the age of 17, does it make the question more acceptable?

Maybe or maybe not.  But the question didn’t seem to be as absurd as first thought.  Way to go media.

Edit:  So now either the Dolphins are lying by saying that Bryant identified his father as a pimp in an interview or Bryant accidently outed his father as a pimp in an interview.  Please tell me someone has the interview on tape…

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9 Responses

  1. The conversation you’re referencing is how the Dolphins are currently spinning it. I personally don’t believe that’s how it happened, because John Ireland shouldn’t have apologized if this version is true. He should have been angry that a perfectly logical question was being framed as a ridiculous non-sequitir. Was he? No, he apologized in a press release.

    • You are correct that the conversation in the post is taken directly from a Sports Illustrated piece and cites two Dolphins sources. Given the amount of media attention this has drawn though, I doubt they would lie about how the conversation took place and risk looking even worse over it, especially after an apology was already issued and Bryant accepted it. Why fan the flames and keep this in the news by lying to make yourself look better? who knows, maybe they are that stupid…

      You do bring up a good point though: Why apologize if this is how it went down? I’m guessing the apology was issued simply because the Dolphins know that the general public is stupid and superficial. Instead of coming off as defensive and insensitive to women (and female fans are a fairly big fraction of the NFL’s fan base), its much easier to just apologize and let that be the end of it. Its all a PR spin game.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with Justin’s response. The public usually forms opinions based on minimal facts and runs with it. When you represent a professional sports organization, it’s a lot easier to apologize and accept blame. To continue to give off the perception that you did not do anything wrong, by asking such a question, will only enrage the public further.

  2. I kind of agree with Justin in his original assessment. Ireland made a bad decision in pursuing the line of questioning, didn’t realize it was going to blow up like it did, and his best move was to apologize and get out of there. Standing his ground wasn’t going to gain him anything here.

  3. From ProFootballTalk.com:

    Hopefully, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant eventually will respond on the record to the multiple reports, from unnamed Dolphins sources, that G.M. Jeff Ireland asked Bryant if his mother is a prostitute during a pre-draft interview only after Bryant volunteered that his father is a pimp, and that his mother works for him.

    For now, a source close to Bryant has offered up the player’s reply. (Hey, if off-the-record responses are good enough for the Dolphins, they should be good enough for the player.)

    “That’s bullshit,” the source told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “It didn’t go down like [the Dolphins are implying it did]. There’s nothing to say. If a guy calls and apologizes, what else is there to add on? Enough said. [The apology] confirmed [Bryant’s version]. The apology was accepted, and now it’s time to move on.”

    So there you have it. Bryant’s camp disputes the story that way too many people are accepting as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    • thanks for the update Jim – much appreciated. The post has been updated. So maybe the Dolphins front office is indeed that stupid. This thing is about to get ugly

      although i will say that the story most people accepted was the one Bryant told. I only heard about Miami’s side of the story today – which is what is causing yet another storm.

      either Miami is making up a story about someone’s dad being a pimp – which is just about as classless as you get, or Bryant called his Dad a pimp in an interview. Either way, this is some crazy stuff.

    • Nice update Jim!

  4. Thanks Jim–I actually just interviewed someone today, I can say with 100% truthfulness pimps, pimpin’, and prostitution were not brought up by either party. But the fact remains, Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy.

  5. hey Jim,

    have you seen this story and video? Bryant sure seems to be trying to bury this…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/news/story?id=5151539

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