In most cases, Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett is colorful and entertaining and ultimately harmless on Twitter. On Saturday night, he shared an observation that even he soon realized should be deleted.
“When you get married and shit don’t work out,” Dockett said. “She want 1/2 ‘HALF’ and see that’s where I have a issue.. I don’t blame OJ nevermind.”
After many reacted negatively to Dockett’s endorsement of O.J. Simpson’s alleged murder of his wife from 20 years ago, Dockett said, “I deleted my last tweet because y’all would take what I said wrong and I don’t feel like explaining where I’m coming from.”
And while he didn’t explain where he was coming from, Dockett finished with a flourish.
“And FYI I was not talking about murder,” Dockett said, again without explaining what he was talking about. “But if this was the case let’s not forget Oj was innocent and he proved it in court!”
Of course, O.J. wasn’t innocent. He was found not guilty because a jury disregarded overwhelming DNA evidence and other proof, locking instead on Simpson deftly spreading his fingers just enough to keep his bloody gloves from fitting his hands. A civil jury later found Simpson responsible for killing his ex-wife and her friend, imposing a verdict on him of $33.5 million.
Dockett will likely face no scrutiny from the NFL or the Cardinals for his comments, and many would say he shouldn’t. Dockett is on his own time, away from work. If he wants to say something stupid, insensitive, or inflammatory, that’s his right. (And it’s everyone else’s right to point out that he’s being stupid, insensitive, and/or inflammatory.)
Making the situation a bit more delicate for the NFL and the team is the fact that, if Dockett had made a comment reflecting reluctance to tolerate or accept Rams defensive end Michael Sam or any other gay player, actions possibly would have been taken. It’s a balance the NFL and its teams will have a hard time striking, if teams like the Dolphins will continue to discipline players like defensive back Don Jones for things said on Twitter about Sam.