All these years later, Bill Parcells still gets angry at any suggestion that he looked the other way when the best player he ever coached, Lawrence Taylor, was using drugs during his NFL career.
The new documentary LT: The Life and Times explores whether the Giants knew about Taylor’s drug use and enabled him because of his on-field ability. Parcells appears in the documentary and is asked whether he looked the other way when Taylor used drugs, and Parcells grows visibly angry as he answers.
“I didn’t want drugs on my team. I wanted to do everything I could to eliminate them on my team,” Parcells said. “Looking the other way would not be the right way to pursue that situation, and I don’t care what anybody says. I know, he knows, and the people involved close to him know. So that’s all I’m going to say. But frankly, that pisses me off when people say that.”
Taylor says in the documentary that the NFL never found out about most of his drug use. Taylor says he routinely got away with cheating drug tests by using other people’s urine, and that when he finally got caught, it was only because he used urine from someone else who also turned out to be a drug user.
“When I was suspended, hell, it wasn’t even my urine. I switched urine but I switched it with the wrong person, I guess,” Taylor said.
Taylor makes no secret of the fact that he broke NFL rules by using illegal drugs, and he makes no secret of the fact that he circumvented the NFL’s drug-testing policies. That happened under Parcells’s watch, but Parcells insists he wasn’t looking the other way.