After further review, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton doesn’t think guys like Kellen Winslow Jr. are f–king soldiers.
Two days after a clumsy radio interview in which Dayton linked the NFL’s crime wave to: (1) idle time; and (2) a military-style mindset that makes it hard to turn the violence switch to the “off” position, Dayton has apologized for the second prong of his proposition.
”I regret my mistake, and I apologize for it,” Dayton said in a statement.
Dayton, who apparently was riffing his way through an on-air chat with Minnesota Public Radio, tried to offer broad generalizations for bad behavior among pro football players. His swing-and-a-miss disrespected the many law-abiding members of the military and NFL players who have no problem stepping away from the battlefield and gridiron, respectively, and functioning as responsible citizens.
Dayton’s idle-time take was less offensive, but still flawed. Plenty of people have idle time (like teachers in the summertime), and they don’t find themselves filling the boredom by posing for mugshots. For football players, it’s a jambalaya of idle time, youth, money, testosterone, the pursuit of females, alcohol, and/or a strange, symbiotic willingness to do things in a group that they would never do alone that often lands one or more of them in a jackpot.
Still, there’s no excuse for it, especially when their employer is trying to hammer home at every turn the importance of making good decisions — and the consequences of making bad ones.
Dayton made a bad one on Tuesday, and we’ve got a feeling he will no longer shoot from the hip regarding the psychology of pro athletes.