Trent Dilfer’s elevation to the big desk at ESPN has come with big scrutiny. And it’s been a big mess.
Dilfer criticized 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for violating the unofficial code of the backup quarterback, which apparently (according to Dilfer) means staying out of view and keeping your mouth shut.
“[T]he big thing that hit me through all of this was this is a backup quarterback whose job is to be quiet and sit in the shadows and get the starter ready to play Week One,” Dilfer said. “Yet, he chose a time when he became the center of attention. And it has disrupted that organization. It has caused friction and torn the fabric of the team.”
Appearing on KNBR on Tuesday, Dilfer tried to justify his dog whistling by explaining that he once opted not to use his backup-quarterback platform to advance a cause that was important to him.
“My wife and I had been introduced to some really disturbing stuff and other social injustices: Childhood slavery in our country,” Dilfer said, via Deadspin. “And I’d gone to a couple seminars and presentations where we got really deep in the weeds about this issue. It became a passion of ours to help fight this battle of childhood slavery around the country and I had a very big platform in Seattle and I could have leveraged being a Seattle Seahawk, being an NFL quarterback, done a lot to get that message out there, but I chose not to at the sake of not wanting to disrupt the team and I never want to draw attention to myself, and take it away from Matt [Hasselbeck], the rest of our team and our preparation to win.”
First of all, how would Dilfer speaking out against childhood slavery have disrupted the team? Did the Seahawks have on the roster at the time a large group of players who were in favor of childhood slavery?
Second, there’s no way Hasselbeck would have objected to these efforts. In 2013, when Hasselbeck was the (wait for it) the backup quarterback in Indianapolis he engaged in an extensive media tour aimed at combating (wait for it) slavery.
Hasselbeck and Dilfer are once again teammates at ESPN. Perhaps the time has come for Matt to tell Trent that he has officially reached the bottom, so he probably should stop digging.