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Delanie Walker to players: Don’t complain about media when you get in trouble

Delanie Walker, Cary Williams AP

Titans tight end Delanie Walker has gained recognition this offseason for his work with MADD to combat drunk driving, a crime that has been a staple of PFT‘s police blotter since the day it come into existence.

Walker was pushed in that direction through tragedy, the death of his aunt and uncle at the hands of a drunk driver after the Super Bowl in February, and that’s helped him gain notice for his efforts over the last few months. Not nearly as much notice as Aaron Hernandez has gotten, of course, and less than players involved in less sensational crimes tend to get when they run afoul of the law. Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com spoke to Walker about the difference in coverage that good deeds get when compared to those who break the law.

Walker said that a lot of players feel that the media ignores charitable deeds and other good acts and then piles on when a player gets arrested. It’s hard to argue with that assessment, be it on these pages or elsewhere, but Walker seems to be well aware that you can’t pile on to a story that doesn’t exist. He cautions other NFLers that they can’t blame others when they are responsible for their own actions and that they can’t really complain about people saying they’ve done something wrong when they go out and do something wrong.

“What I tell players is that you are looked at everywhere you go,” Walker said. “Someone is always trying to get something on you. If you go into a bar and get into a fight, it will become public. That’s on you, not the media.”

NFL players who have never done anything wrong have a right to be upset at being painted by a brush colored with the alleged activities of Hernandez and others, but the realities of the world are such that the negative always draws more interest from media, fans and especially those who don’t follow the sport unless someone’s misdeeds lead the story to cross over to non-sports realms. It’s too simplistic to blame one group for this, especially when former and current NFL players and executives use cases like Hernandez’s to make themselves look prescient even though they were careful to keep their thoughts to themselves until just after things hit the fan.

It may not be fair that these stories get so much space, but, as almost everyone’s parents said to them at some point during childhood, no one ever said life is fair. Walker’s advice wisely takes that into account and makes it clear how NFL players can avoid unwanted attention.

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10 Responses to “Delanie Walker to players: Don’t complain about media when you get in trouble”
  1. blacknole08 says: Jul 3, 2013 1:31 PM

    Well he’s right. Can’t blame him for feeling that way.

    And I don’t want players to think that we judge ALL NFL players like this. No, it’s the boneheads like Hernandez, Josh Brent, Titus Young, and others who give the shield a bad name.

    There have just been too many arrest and other incidents that have happened since the lockout. I think having too much idle time on their hands is the biggest problem for these NFL players.

  2. lightcleric says: Jul 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    As many NFL players as there are screwing thins up these days, it’s good that this generation of players does have a group that knows what it’s doing and handles things right. I know the obvious media go-to is Tebow(for good reason, to be fair) but there’s also guys like Delanie, Fitz and Adrian Peterson too and I say that as a fan of none of those teams. Remember how well AP handled those phony charges against him?

    It sounds corny but it’s good to see guys getting headlines for the RIGHT reasons.

  3. asimonetti88 says: Jul 3, 2013 1:44 PM

    Delanie Walker is a great guy and played a big role for the 49ers the last few years. He will be missed and I wish him luck in Tennessee!

  4. shlort says: Jul 3, 2013 1:48 PM

    Well, Mr. Walker is not taking a very liberal approach to these matters.

    Everyone knows that when a person gets in trouble it is not their fault. If someonegets pulled over by the cops, it is the cops fault. If a kid is kicked out of school, it is the schools fault. And so one and so forth. It is the liberal way. Never take responsibility for anything, ever. Finger pointing is the best way to get things done.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 3, 2013 1:55 PM

    That’s a lot of complaining. But while we are on the subject of charity well the reason players don’t get recognition for that stuff is because very rarely does any player get in trouble who has done much charity work and given back to the community at an appropriate level that is on par with the monster salary. If you get paid big bucks but you give back small bucks, then that’s not impressive or noteworthy.

  6. granadafan says: Jul 3, 2013 2:06 PM

    Sometimes you do the right thing and take the keys away from a drunk teammate and get a bottle over your head.

  7. bmoreravens1012013 says: Jul 3, 2013 2:25 PM

    its a shame because its a very small percentage of players that get into trouble in the league, but life ain’t fair as Florio so eloquently expressed. Still is a shame nonetheless and the media is most culpable.

  8. shadowcell says: Jul 3, 2013 3:21 PM

    @shlort

    I see you’re taking “the liberal approach” as well.

  9. shlort says: Jul 3, 2013 10:59 PM

    shadowcell says:Jul 3, 2013 3:21 PM

    @shlort

    I see you’re taking “the liberal approach” as well.
    _________________________________

    I see you cannot identify sarcasm when you see it. :-)

  10. CKL says: Jul 4, 2013 10:44 AM

    I’d venture to say with the way I’ve seem most kids “raised” nowadays that they don’t get told “life isn’t fair” by their parents. They get told “if you don’t get what you want, sue, cry, whine and make the world bend to your wants because you are a special snowflake”. It’s one reason the levels of personal responsibility go downwards with every generation.

    Remember the days when you would get in trouble at school and regardless of what was their punishment you dreaded the level of responsibility your parents were going to give you punishment wise even more? Yeah…those days are over. Now parents sue schools when their kids do wrong and demand teachers and day cares raise their kids.

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