On Wednesday we pointed out that while everyone is piling on Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland for asking Dez Bryant whether his mother was a prostitute, no one seems to be questioning what role Ireland’s boss, Bill Parcells, had in Ireland’s decision to ask the question.
Now someone is questioning Parcells’ role in the matter, and it’s one of Parcells’ former players.
“I’ve been in that same position and that same seat as a Dez Bryant,” ex-NFL defensive end Marcellus Wiley said Thursday morning on ESPN Radio. “I can go back to when I was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. Walking into Bill Parcells’ office — this is my, quote unquote, recruiting trip of sorts — I’ve been in the league, this is my seventh or eighth year, Bill Parcells, back turned to me, writing on the chalkboard, doesn’t even turn around to, say, ‘Hello’ or ‘Nice to meet you, Marcellus Wiley,’ just echoes, ‘Do you do drugs?’”
Wiley did end up signing with the Cowboys, and he says that at the time he wasn’t overly offended by the question. But he says hearing about the question Ireland asked Bryant makes him think about the question Parcells asked him.
“I took that in jest, but now listening to the Dez Bryant situation, there could have been a context in which he meant that in not so positive a way,” Wiley said. “Dez Bryant sitting there and hearing, ‘Is your mother a prostitute’ makes me think of Bill Parcells and his connection as the executive in the Miami Dolphins’ organization.”
Wiley noted twice during his radio appearance that he’s from Compton, California, and he questioned whether Parcells might have some biases about players with backgrounds like his. At the same time, Wiley said he doesn’t necessarily have a problem with Parcells and Ireland exploring Bryant’s family background. Wiley said the Dolphins could have been genuinely concerned about Bryant as a person and simply hoping to get as full a picture as possible of his background.
“The connection of Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland — you know what? I’m not going to look at this as something that’s going to degrade you,” Wiley said. “I’m not looking at this question as something that’s going to try and put an indictment on you. I’m simply saying, if you have these issues, and these pressures around you, maybe I should help you.”
Still, Wiley said that if Parcells and Ireland wanted to know about Bryant’s background, “There has to be a better way to do it.”