Posts Tagged ‘jerry richardson’
A lot is being made of Carolina Panthers‘ owner Jerry Richardson‘s conversation with rookie quarterback Cam Newton prior to the 2011 NFL Draft. the quotes are being dissected based off of themes varying from race to ethics.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, Jerry Richardson discussed his pre-draft interview with Cam Newton with PBS’s Charlie Rose. In that discussion, Richardson reportedly revealed the following quotes:
“I said, ‘Do you have any tattoos?’” Richardson told Rose. “He said, ‘No, sir. I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘Do you have any piercings?’ he said, ‘No, sir. I don’t have any.’ I said, ‘We want to keep it that way.’ . . . .
“We want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you’ve got a very nice haircut.”
Interjected the host: “You sound like a Lombardi.”
Said Richardson, “No, I just sound reasonable to me.”
Clearly, Richardson in no way thought he was wrong in what many deem as “crossing a line”. In fact, he admitted it sounded reasonable.
Perhaps, but several analysts have already proposed the question – does Richardson question all of his players this way? Did he take the time to consider Jeremy Shockey’s image the same way he is clearly considering Newton’s?
Now, obviously the appearance and image of Carolina’s new golden boy and number one overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft is going to trump a potentially washed-up, injury-prone, tattooed Shockey; but it’s still a valid question.
Was Richardson trying to protect his investment’s image by not dirtying it up with tattoos and piercings? Clearly. But the ongoing question was whether or not it was out of line.
And it has to be.
If Richardson gets to walk away from this cleanly with no one batting an eye, then there has to be a precedent already set. Every one of his players prior to the selection of Cam Newton should have no piercings and no tattoos. At the very least, that would keep Richardson from coming off as a hypocrite when asking Newton to “keep it that way”.
While it’s easy to toss in the knee-jerk reaction that Richardson is difficult and demanding (just see anything involving him with the NFL Lockout), you have to look at this from the outsider’s perspective.
I know nothing about Richardson other than what I’ve read in the past and the report I’ve mentioned above. however, what I do know is that he’s clearly holding one of his players in higher regard and to different standards in comparison to others.
And while I completely understand the reasoning behind it – that Newton is a huge investment and the face of the Panthers’ franchise – I have still come to the conclusion that this was in no way “okay” for Richardson to do.
If Newton wants to get a tattoo, he should be able to. In fact, short of Richardson scoffing or calling him names, he actually can. But the fact that Richardson singled out Newton as a product, more than a player (or you know, an actual person), shows his true colors.
And while it’s an argument open for debate, one thing is getting a little clearer. if you weren’t sure how you felt about the abrasive Richardson prior to this story, you probably are now.