Ken Herock says no question is off limits during pre-draft interviews

As the Dez Bryant-Jeff Ireland controversy continues to draw conflicting opinions, a former NFL front office employee who now prepares players for pre-draft interviews has provided his two cents, via Tim Graham of

I don’t feel there are any topics off-limits,” Ken Herock told Graham.  “If anybody thinks they’re off-limits, put yourself in the
eyes of an employer that’s going to hire a 21-year-old and pay him $15
million or $20 million.”

So, basically, Herock thinks teams have the right to ask incoming players whether their mothers are or were prostitutes.  “They already know about his family,” Herock said.  “They just want to see how he
reacts and how he’s going to explain it and how he’s going to handle it. . . .  I don’t think that question was out of line.”

Herock’s viewpoint fits with the attitude of most people in the NFL.  And that’s likely why the league office has handled the issue gingerly.  Punishing the Dolphins or Ireland would ignore the reality that far worse questions have been asked.

The bigger question, in our view, is whether an industry-wide tolerance of inappropriate questions somehow makes the questions appropriate.  We don’t think that it does, and we think (as pointed out in our item on the matter) that the league and the NFLPA should use this moment as the catalyst for commencing the process of moving the football industry closer toward the rules regarding acceptable questions and communications followed by other professions.

And, please, let’s not give the NFL a pass simply because the job is competitive and stressful.  Coal miners, for example, risk life and limb not 20 days per year, but more than 200.  They work in dark, cramped quarters.  But when they’re hired, offensive questions aren’t asked.  When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.

So why is it OK in football?  Because it’s always been that way? 

Maybe it’s time to expect more from “professional” athletes and from those who coach and hire them.  And maybe folks who work in and around the football industry, like Ken Herock and Matt Millen, shouldn’t be the ones to decide whether or not the status quo is acceptable.

163 responses to “Ken Herock says no question is off limits during pre-draft interviews

  1. “So why is it OK in football? Because it’s always been that way?”
    no, Simply because a coal miner doesn’t have hundreds of media outlet critics disecting everything they do daily. The media stress will put 10x as much as what happens during a pre-draft interview. if they can make it through that, it’s a fairly decent indication of how they will handle the media and the pressures of being an athlete.

  2. Regardless of being appropriate or not, how effective do the people asking the questions really think they are?
    Guys like this are prepping guys like Dez, and telling them to expect anything to be asked. So if a guy knows it’s coming, whether it offends him or not, he is going to be prepared to deal with the situation.
    So really all they are doing is making themselves look like @sses for asking the question and not getting any better of an idea of the person’s “true” character than they had before.
    Do they really think a guy that’s going to be a problem in the NFL is going to flip out and punch the guy in the mouth when he asks the question or something?
    Try all they want, the only way they’re going to find out if a guy is going to be a pain in the @ss in the NFL, is by paying him to be in the NFL and seeing if he is a pain in the @ss.

  3. Ok, I’m cool with Herock’s thinking, but that door swings both ways. If Ireland who’s employed by the Dolphins can ask anything of a prospect, then prospect should be able to ask about Parcell’s divorce or Jerry Jones’ facelift. Prospect has the right to know about his future employers.

  4. That might be the worst comparison ever. A coal miner probably makes 30,000 a year tops.
    If you are about to pay a kid 15 million dollars, you should be able to ask whatever the hell you want in order to make sure that is a sound investment.

  5. I have zero problem with NFL executives determining how an employee will react to a very common situation: taunting, name calling, “trash talking” etc that will occur in the locker room and/or football field.
    Additionally, if my mom (or any of my family) were criminals of any sort, I’d fully be expected to be asked about it if I were going for a multi-million dollar a year job especially if I was coming from a poor background… regardless if it was the NFL or not.

  6. would anyone care if this was asked to Jordan Shipley,not Dez Bryant… This country is really getting out of control

  7. Ridiculous comparison between an NFL player and a coal miner. An NFL player gets paid more than most CEOs and is a public figure that represents the brand of the league and the team.
    How would you legislate what questions are appropriate and which are not?
    Look, I wouldn’t be as crass as Ireland was and it sounds like he regrets it. Enough, move on.

  8. And if they put in a rookie wage scale, the justification for such questions diminishes to almost zero.

  9. You’re on fire with shitty comparisons tonight Florio. Can you explain to me how, exactly, coal miners are like NFL players? Because you just tried to claim they’re similar based on the fact that NFL players might get hurt on the field and coal miners face death daily.
    I don’t think NFL is allowed to ask future employees potentially-offensive questions based on the fact the player might get hurt. The NFL is allowed to ask offensive questions like this because they shell out mega millions to these players, and because dealing with aggression is part of being a professional athlete. When a coal miner has sex with a woman does she cry rape? Do they deal with physically assaulting other over-grown men on a daily basis?
    Don’t get me wrong, coal miners ought to get paid way more than whatever they’re paid, since they perform such an important and dangerous job, but they aren’t like football players at all.
    Also, if the players don’t want to submit to questions like this, they don’t have to. No one is forcing them to go to the interviews, no one is forcing them to play pro football (except Ricky Williams, apparently).
    All night your posts have been shit. You tired, lazy, or stupid, son?

  10. For the first time I agree with this…wow, what’s the world coming to?
    Seriously though, Ireland could have asked the same question in a different manner and still achieve what he wanted to but as you say, because it’s football, some in the higher archy believe it’s ok and that’s really a shame. Oh well, can we move on to the next topic? What? You say this is the ONLY topic???

  11. I know of 36 million reasons why JaMarcus Russell should have been ask, “are you useless?”.
    In any other profession you’re not allowed to hit coworkers, therefore the NFL is now a flag football league.

  12. Dozey is going to get laughed off the field. All because his “lifestyle coach”, David (I Sing for Bling) Wells sold a tasty nugget to a Silver Shit Streak.

  13. @ Florio,
    “other professions”???
    It’s the NFL! Find me another profession that requires people that young to do so much mentally and physically and trusts them with millions of dollars. It’s only offensive if they worded it “Your mother is a whore.” Asking “Is your mom a prostitute” is a simple yes/no question. Maybe she is, maybe they can help get her off the streets. You don’t know the context, so stop overreacting to speculation, jackass.
    Coal miners aren’t handed millions of dollars soon after being hired, either. Please don’t ever compare coal miners to NFL players. It’s probably the most ignorant thing you’ve ever written, and that’s saying a lot.

  14. Florio seems pretty bothered by this, I’d ask him if it’s because his mother was a prostitute, but that would be inappropriate.

  15. What if his Father was a Drug Dealer would that be ok to ask him? If I am paying someone 20 mil a year and I want to know what hand he wipes his ass with I am asking.

  16. These type of question are completely justified considering the investment a team is going to make millions of dollars in guaranteed payments, they are just words, no harm no foul. If you don’t like it don’t apply for a job with this kind of exposer.

  17. Florio – I realize the situation with the coal miners is still recent and is a big industry in WV…and it’s awful that what happened recently. But your comparison is ridiculous…they aren’t being signed to multi-million dollar contracts.
    Ireland asking that question was tactless, and probably shouldn’t have been asked, but to say that a team/”company” is out of line for asking a guy a question like that while deciding if they want to give the guy millions of dollars is a little ridiculous…pretty sure the people that have had character flaws/couldn’t handle situations right haven’t paid back any of that money.

  18. Rob Parker asked a much less offensive question of Rod Marinelli and it cost him his job. Players should be taught to ignore and walk away from questions like that which is why team executives should not ask questions like that for any reason. If it’s a fan asking the question they should be escorted from the stadium. If it’s a media member they should have their credentials yanked. Yes it’s going to happen at some point by somebody but that doesn’t excuse it being asked by people in authority positions.

  19. So it’s not okay for a prospective employer to ask if his mom is a prostitute, but it’s okay for every media outlet to point out that his mom may (or may not) be a prostitute? At least Jeff Ireland talked about it to his face instead of the media who talk about it very publicly, but in actuality, behind his back.

  20. There isn’t another industry that’s paying kids right out of college (some without a degree) 20 million dollars guaranteed. Coal Miners sure as hell aren’t making 20million dollars, so the analogy you’re trying to draw is very poor.

  21. Anyone who doesn’t want to be asked shocking questions always have the option of playing for a competing football league or pursuing another career.

  22. Perhaps these young to be million dollar babies are that sensitive they can try working in a coal mine for a year, I think they wouldn’t last a week. Bill

  23. No, it’s because of the money, dumbass (I’m speaking to Florio). You obviously never took an economics class (or maybe you slept through it) during your pursuit of your law degree. Herock is EXACTLY right. The stakes are MUCH HIGHER (economically speaking) than that of a coal miner, so the comparison you make isn’t even remotely comparable. Ask anyone who’s ever interviewed for a job on Wall Street. The questions you get are CRAZY (see the book, “Heard on the Street, Questions from Wall Street Interviews”). The same reason applicants put up with abuse from interviews for an investment banking job on Wall Street is the same reason spoiled athletes shouldn’t complain about a few odd questions from GMs. The stakes are HIGH! And the rewards are HIGHER! You can debate whether or not handling an off the wall question during an interview translates to handling the pressure cooker of the NFL (or of an investment banking job), but it’s not nearly as atypical as you think. And as far as I’m concerned, its the prerogative of the interviewer if he wants to ask a few weird questions before he hands you a check for $20M. Sorry if I have no sympathy. I’d be happy to face a few of these questions to be blessed with the physical talent and opportunity these young men have. Should we now have Congressional hearings about whether or not interview questions are “offensive”? Ughh! Find something else to talk about. This is nothing more than a humorous anecdote about the experience of becoming an NFL player.

  24. Arent their laws about what you can ask someone during a job interview? Florio, look into your old law books!

  25. I can understand the need to find out as much about a person as possible in spending a lot of money. However, there are laws about what you can and can’t ask in job interviews. Also, just because someone may make millions of dollars, does it mean they are above the law? Just ask Bernie Madoff if he was above the law. Regardless of the law or not, one can find out information about a person by asking appropriate questions not inappropriate ones.

  26. Florio, you just ruined the NFL. Now all these guys are going to head off to West Virginia to work in coal mines when they finish college. Hell, they probably don’t even have to finish college. You ruined the NCAA too.
    Stop and think of the repurcussions before you blurt out these things.

  27. Florio, your opinion on this matter is increasingly becoming tiresome as well as losing the initial steam you built up.
    I agree with Colin Cowherd, and now Herock.
    Coal miners aren’t given guaranteed contracts worth 35 million dollars without proving a damn thing, as these guys are.
    Bryant has problems. From all accounts, he’s a flake at best, seriously troubled and entitled at worst. He has big-time family issues.
    Ireland was within every right as a would-be employer who is going to invest millions of dollars in a possible head case such as Bryant to ask any question he damn well pleases.
    The issue here is the fact that Bryant brought it up weeks after it happened, which again begs the question to his lack of maturity, amongst other things.
    Find another drum to bang, Florio.

  28. Unless the union is going to commit that its members will refrain from using that type of information in a hostile manner, it has no standing in any arguement for management being more civil.
    And I can’t imagine that happening.

  29. I see what your getting at with this topic, Florio, and you should keep at it. Roger Goodell is trying to make the league a more civil place with player code of conduct and curtailing boorish behavior by fans at the stadiums. Draft prospects are treated like pieces of meats as it is, but should they really have to put with “yo mama’s a ho” questions from executives in interview sessions?
    Matt Millen’s behavior, and lots of the responses to it, seem to illustrate the problem with the caveman mentality of many connected with the NFL. Millen uses racial epithets and homophobic slurs, but anyone who sees something wrong with that is dismissed as a politically correct liberal p#ssy.
    “So why is it OK in football? Because it’s always been that way?”
    An excellent question.

  30. The players should be allowed to respond as they wish as well.
    If someone were to ask me a question as they asked Bryant I would have answered in kind.

  31. Herock is right, and i’m sick of people comparing it to interview for other jobs…. Please tell me how many jobs say it is ok for other employees to say insulting personal things to you while you attempt to complete your job (yes it happnes, but how many companies consider it part of the job)?
    Do you really think motor mouth Deangelo Hall is going to pass up the chance to ask Dez how much his mom charges during a game? Also whats to stop some reporter or blogger asking him about his mom being a prostitute in an interview? Shouldn’t you know how he is going to react?
    The NFLPA can huff and puff all they want but they are hypocrites. Part of the reason the question should be asked is because of the NFL players. They run their mouth, talk trash, and toss insults around so they can try and get into the other players head. If you have some skeletons in your closet, well then the material is a lot easier.
    Also, I have heard people say well just ask him about his mom and dad and how he has overcome it…. While you are at it why don’t you just call his PR firm and ask for the answer because that’s where hes going to get the answers to those questions.

  32. I guess extra sensitive souls like Florio who think “the question” was out of line never served in the military. In boot camp and basic, the same mental techniques are used in spades (as well as physical techniques that would be dangerous to use on NFL athletes). And for the same reason – to see if a man will react in control in a stressful situation. BTW, I agree the comparison to coal miners is absurd, but what can you expect from a West Virginian.

  33. You said “When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.” I would supect Ireland’s question was tame compared to the things coal miners, sailors, marines or construction workers say to each other. Pull your head out of your butt Florio.

  34. All I know is dez bryant better not ever leave dallas because he won’t get a job in this league again. A lot these kids get asked all kinds of questions and he opened his mouth. He’s done after dallas. I hope he’s a bust

  35. I think its funny that Dez Bryant says he;s not a primma donna but as soon as he feels disrespected he cries to the media who make the whole thing even bigger that it is. Which by the way is exactly what Bryant wanted. What a non-story this is.

  36. I think Obama told Ireland to ask it…. At least that’s the word around the Tea Party these days.

  37. Sure, Florio. We should now make laws requiring all questions asked to football players be “appropriate”. But why stop there? They should also make sure that the correct ratios of players who are in each race are employed. That means more Mexican, Asian, and (gasp!) white players. Also, currently NFL rosters are 100% male. That is PREPOSTEROUS! They don’t allow that in the normal work environment! Clearly we need more women football players! Heck, we need a LOT of women players if we’re going to reach the 50% need to be equivalent to the rest of society and the normal workforce.
    Or, maybe we could just forget about this stupid ass irrelevant comparison between about-to-be-21-year-old-millionaires and the normal workforce.

  38. If I’m paying someone millions of dollars, not to mention a huge bonus just to sign, I want to know everything I can. Think of Ryan Leaf, Pacman Jones, and other terminal screw ups. All the owners did was give these guys the means to screw up massively. Would you have given Rothisberger $100M if you knew he had a problem with women?

  39. After the millions of dollars that have been wasted on rookie players in each and every past year, doesn’t it make sense that those evaluating the players need to push everything further than they have in the past?

  40. Ever hear of the legal term “bona fide occupational requirement”? It means a requirement one has to have in order to perform a certain job properly — for instance, you have to be a smoking hot bitty to waitress at Hooters. Legally.
    In this case, the bona fide occupational requirement is you’ve got to not flip out when put under extreme duress — like when there’s 2:00 left in the 4th quarter and an opposing CB calls your mom a hooker.
    This article suggests that the NFL shouldn’t be able to “test” players as described and cites that most other professions cannot, but the fact is that REAL jobs (traders, bankers, lawyers, CEOs, etc.) test applicants just like Ireland did. If you want to be a clerk at a huge bureaucratic corporation like Wal-Mart, go ahead. If you want a meaninful or challenging job, be prepared to be tested.

  41. Tebow admit he’s a virgin, you wouldn’t ask him have he ever had homosexual thoughts.

  42. OK i understand now…hey man if we pay you 20 million dollars we can accuse/ask if your family is on drugs or into prostitution but since you also make us millions we are going to fine you if you celebrate after scoring a touchdown….makes so much sense..

  43. I don’t see this as an issue of “it’s how the NFL has always been”. And I don’t just see this as a team trying to determine whether a player has the mental toughness to make it in the NFL.
    Questions like that at the combine help GIVE the player the mental toughness to make it. It lets them know just what to expect.
    That’s not to say that abusive language in the workplace is justified. But let’s recognize how policing abusive language in the NFL’s workplace is virtually impossible. Unless every player has a mic in their helmet, and a ref listening in, you can’t make sure players aren’t verbally abused by the opposing team.
    This is a non-story. Jeff Ireland should not be punished, and this behavior should be allowed to continue in the interest of making these players “invincible”. They have to learn to take their hits, cause fans aren’t subject to penalties and they’ll yell abuses as well.
    Heck, the fans of the home team which you aren’t can be worse than anybody.
    These kids need tough skin. These exercises help build that.

  44. wait let me get this straight…you can be asked if your mom was a whore, something you have no control over, but if you celebrate scoring a touchdown by using a sharpee or some kind of prop thats going too have to be fined for that..makes sense to me

  45. How about Dez Bryant understand that its a part of the process, and that its business not personal, he took something that was business and made it very personal

  46. art vandelay-rau; would anyone care if this was asked to Jordan Shipley,not Dez Bryant… This country is really getting out of control
    David Duke would care!!

  47. thats why Herock is a “former NFL employee” That , and of course building a disastrous Atlanta Falcons team….

  48. Correct me if I am wrong isn’t Dez Bryant’s mother a convicted criminal? Yes. The Dolphins are in a business where they give millions of UNEARNED dollars. The old saying of the apple does not fall far from the tree makes it a relavent questions.
    Ever filled out a life insurance application? DO you get offended? TOUGH.
    All questions about family history are legit. This story is stupid and over blown. Jeff Ireland was not wrong.

  49. You don’t want a couple awkward and inappropriate questions? Don’t go to the NFL. You want the 8 figure payday? Deal.
    In a league where there’s seemingly a Jamarcus Russell and Robert Gallery for every Tom Brady and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, these teams have a right to ask what they want.
    And coming from a WV coal mining family, I find it completely and utterly laughable and naive that you think hostile and abusive statements aren’t tolerated in the mine. Florio, they’re a part of the everyday grind. You’re either lying to yourself or lying to us in an attempt to bolster your argument, and that’s pathetic.
    Maybe the government should step in and tell them what they can and can’t ask? That would fit the increasingly leftist lean of this website… I remember when I started reading this website for the breaking news and informed rumors. I check it less and less every day now that your BS political and social commentary have become just as big a part of it.
    Its a shame I can’t filter your posts and just read Rosenthal’s… He’s what you used to be, with better grammar.

  50. It’s justified? How? What in the world justifies an employer to ask incredibly personal questions of a potential employee? Would you work for a company that asked you if your mother was a prostitute? Would you work for them if they seemed interested in off topics like what your parents are like, or worse, personal things about you? So nothing is off limits, eh? How about “Are you gay?” Or, “Have you ever associated with a gay person?” Or “Who did you vote for in the last election?” “What religion are you?” “Has your crap ever been green?”
    I don’t care how much money they are paying someone, no one has the right to invade your privacy in this manner. Sure, you ask questions to get a reaction, and see how they handle it, but you can do that without getting into their personal lives. Let me give you an example. “So, if one of your former college buddies is playing for a different team. If we ask would you visit him for us and get us their playbook?” That will get the kind of reaction you want.

  51. Execs can do their homework in other ways. At the same time though, the only way to eliminate the front office staff from wanting to ask these questions is to eliminate hostile and abusive language on the field between the coworkers there. Asking these types of questions is not going to be an effective way of going about it, but the front office and coaches want to know how a player will react during the game or on the practice field when another player tries to get in his head by focusing on these types of insults. The league should also want to avoid a situation where another player could insult a player’s family in this way and have that player lose it and escalate it into a very ugly situation. Again, there are better ways to find out about someone’s character than this, and the guys running the teams should never stoop to this level. Any way it’s looked at, it’s bad.

  52. I believe the correct answer for Dez was…
    No. Is yours?
    According to Herock (and the NFL’s) logic, there are absolutely no questions that are off-limits because they pay out the big money.
    That’s ill mannered and just not right.

  53. I don’t give two craps about Dez Bryant but I hope he gets to play Miami soon and that he tears their garbage secondary to shreds.
    PS: Jeff Ireland rapes boys while Bill Parcells watches.

  54. Let’s not ignore certain facts when making points Florio (like you have a knack to do).
    You’re also not paying a coal worker $20 mil up front.
    Does that make the situation ok, or humane…no. But, that’s the reality of it. And until profit-sharing is mandatory amongst American Business…this reality will continue.
    If players can’t handle an employer digging into their past while they feel they deserve $20mil up front for having accomplished nothing on the NFL level…then by all means…they should take up another profession.

  55. And one other thing….
    because you pay someone a lot of money does not give you the right to be a total jack*ss, unprofessional, ill mannered, and lack common sense.
    They are football players, not prostitutes.
    The teams want these guys to act like professionals, but to do so they must act unprofessional? C’mon.

  56. Ask that question to any potential employee in any other business besides the “sacred” NFL and you’d get fired and your company would be sued.
    Why is the NFL different–oh that is right–they are a monopoly and have all sorts of laws that they don’t have to follow. You know–because football is such a critical part of the security and well being of the US.

  57. “When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.”
    Wow that just proves that you have never done a hard days work in your life. Thats all there is in labor intesive jobs is hostile and abusive statements. If you dont think so your an idiot. Bosses and co works curse you out call you names all day long and you deal with it.
    Anyone who has ever worked say construction knows exactly what Im talking about. No one knows what PC is on a job site. They say it like it is and if you dont like it to bad. If you do anything the bosses dont like expect them to pick apart every little thing they dont like about you. Thats not all it gets physical to. You will see co worker fight co worker bosses fighting each other from time to time. And then both will be back on the same site the next day. It doesnt happen all the time but it does happen. Its common and the way of the world. Except for maybe lawyers because you guys are all so sensitive and you want to sue everyone .
    I mean come one if I got a job offer tommorow to make just 100,000 year and the guy told me I would have to put up with some questions I dont like to make sure my minds right so be it. I can handle it . These guys are making a 100 times that much I think the employers have a right to ask whatever they want if there going to pay them that much money.
    If an employer wants to ask an immoral question Im fine with it as long as it doesnt ask the possible employ to do something immoral. Its fine to ask if Dez mom is a prostitute as long as he doesnt ask Dez to make his mom be one. Other then that its all fair game.

  58. Either Florio is a master of getting people to reply to his posts, or he’s a complete moron who really believes the garbage he wrote in this article. I’m guessing he’s probably a combination of the two, with a tendency towards the moronic side.
    What the heck is wrong with asking anyone who’s about to make the kind of money these kids make any question they want? Far be it that anyone gets offended! I mean, will anyone care if Dez Bryant (or any player, no offense Dez – I know you’re sensitive) goes out and gets arrested during rookie minicamps? Yes, they will! Then a team like the Dolphins could be accused of not doing their research on a player before signing him to a huge contract.
    C’mon, Florio. Step away from your 65″ LCD TV which is streaming live MSNBC news footage all day and realize that people are WAY to sensitive about EVERYTHING these days. Remember the old saying, sticks and stone…? I guess the NFL should employ a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy now, too.
    Oh, and before you ask – no, my mother was not a prostitute.

  59. Well said Florio. Just because it’s always been doesn’t make it right. You don’t have enough money to give me to question my mothers virtue.

  60. art vandelay-rau,
    its not the country, but the media who are forcing this, big and little Ben, T.O., Pacman, all these things down our throats. If Silver had never “reported” this the general public wouldn’t know, thus a nation of people wouldn’t be thinking that Dez Bryant’s mom at one time could have sold her self to provide for kids and habits.
    It’s like this marines commercial I saw last night on youtube, I’m hearing there was controversy over it being racist. It’s the commercial where the African-American male is talking about being nervous about high diving into a pool. I watched it, never thought anything about it, clicked a link, to a “news” blog and there it was, a “reporter” spouting off about it being a sterotype about African-Americans not being able to swim well. The site I found the link, most people said they never knew there was a stereotype of this sort. But the media in their infinite wisdom planted the seed in peoples heads. I think that is the biggest problem with our society.

  61. How do you say that is inappropriate but don’t bash the league for Vick, Stallworth or other felons return. It’s ok for them to work in the NFL as felons after years or sociopathic behavior for Vick, just don’t ask him a bad question.
    Typical bleeding heart liberal B.S.

  62. I don’t see the problem with this. It is a simple yes or no question. If his mom was not a prostitute, reply “No.” and move to the next question. Why would that make him mad?

  63. why is this such a big deal… its this very attitude that caused Crabtree last year and Bryant this year to fall. Youre not better then anyone else and your cry baby attitude was discovered through this question was it not.
    What do you want to bet Bryants inability to show maturity in answering this question caused the Dolphins to then pursue and eventually trade for Marshall.
    Ok, so it wasnt nice for Ireland to ask this question but say an opposing fan mentions it at a game, then we have a “Mike Vick and the bird in ATL” or a “snowball to a fan in Seattle from a Jet” issue.
    This is a fair question… He didnt call his mom a prostitute, he asked if she was, if she isnt, say no, if she is and you dont want to admit it, say no…
    Bryant may be a great receiver but this attitude will show throughout his young career… I wonder if this big of a stink would have been made had Jerry Rice been asked this question pre-draft…. no is the answer, he wouldnt have bitched about it, no one would have ever known about it, as a matter of a fact Ill bet Rice would have answered it intelligently and maturely and he would have been picked 12th overall by the Dolphins and made twice as much money rather then falling to the 20s and being the second WR off the board. catches and TDs are not the only things that define a hall of fame caliber WR, Bryant is off to a terrible start.

  64. whats inappropriate is you comparing a 1st round NFL draft pick to a coal miner, Florio. coal miners endure much harsher working conditions than someone asking a mean question and hurting your feelings. so he was asked an offensive question, big deal. he became a multimillionaire overnight, im sure he’ll live. to even mention the two in the same post is offensive.

  65. The NFL does this out of arrogance- they know they have players over a barrel, the players have to sit there and take it grinning the whole time. Any other employee who is WORTH 30-40 mil a year should command some respect. What makes this truly sickening is that it totally perpetuates the age old stereotype of the rich man (plantation owner) making the black man (slave) take the abuse with a smile on his face. Even though racism is getting less noticable all the time, we must remember that the civil rights movement only took place 50 years ago…
    Not only is it short sighted to ask these types of questions, as it puts your potential star athlete in a adverse position with his employer from the beginning- there is a real damage and blemish to the all important “shield” in the court of public opinion.
    Goodell needs to get out in front of this story and make a clear statement that insults at interviews are not tolerated in corporate america and it shouldn’t be tolerated by an otherwise world class sports organization

  66. Who cares what they ask him? Tell him to stop being a baby and if he wants to play football for a living he can answer a few tough questions in a job interview. I hardly feel bad for him considering the contract he is about to get.
    The difference between a coal minor and a 1st round draft pick in the NFL (aside from the money) is that millions of people are capable of doing that job if push came to shove.. but not many have what it takes to make it in the NFL. Also, the NFL player will live their life in the public spotlight where the minor will not.

  67. Coal miners, for example, risk life and limb not 20 days per year, but more than 200. They work in dark, cramped quarters. But when they’re hired, offensive questions aren’t asked.

    Oh really?
    Ever hear of Lois Jensen? Haven’t seen North Country?
    But as long as we’re comparing apples to pineapples …
    Are “coal miners” ever targets of extortion? Espionage? Bribery?
    Are “coal miners” ever blackmailed?
    Have “coal miners” ever thrown a game? Shaved points? Entered quid pro quos with casinos, goodfellas or mobsters to preserve family secrets, ensure family safety, payoff family debts?
    Just curious.

  68. “And, please, let’s not give the NFL a pass simply because the job is competitive and stressful. Coal miners, for example, risk life and limb not 20 days per year, but more than 200. They work in dark, cramped quarters. But when they’re hired, offensive questions aren’t asked. When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.”
    So you’re advocating… abolishing trash-talking?

  69. Prior to the 2004 draft:
    Ken: Tell me Ben, how do you feel about women?
    Ben: They’re all skanks, and I should put them in their place, just give me…
    Ken: What if it were your Mother?
    Ben: She was asking for it! They all are!
    Ken:(on the phone to team ownership) Better not…
    Ken: Thanks, Ben. We’ll be in touch.
    Ben: What?

  70. the coal-miner comparison is terrible. and so is the business world comparison. football is a competition, and the competitors routinely cuss, mock, and deride each other to gain a psychological advantage. these men are try to see how prepared those young men are to handle that. a much better comparison might be boot camp – and certainly any drill sergeant will tell you that they are merely preparing those young men for combat through their derision and mocking. dez bryant will engage in high level competition more akin to combat than to coal mining or business. i doubt ray lewis would be sensitive to dez as a co-worker by abstaining from mocking his mother after laying him out. this is the nature of the game, and thus it is the nature of the business.

  71. This is a joke. We now have to be sooooo politically correct that questions can’t be asked?
    Other players and fans taunt players ALL THE TIME. They have to be able to show restraint. When your investing MILLIONS you need to know if they can handle dumb question without blowing up and getting suspensions and even more.
    If someone doesn’t like a question, guess what????
    Don’t answer!!!! If this is done all the time then its also NOT discrimination.
    All they have to do is not answer. Hey Florio stop the drama when you think it will benefit you. It’s too easy to see through.

  72. I’ll bet if you ask any coal miner if he would mind being asked questions like that in exchange for making $15 million or $20 million he wouldn’t complain one bit. I guarantee I wouldn’t.
    Sorry Mike, I’m usually on your side, but just let this one go.

  73. I’ve declined to comment on this story because It’s pretty absurd to defend what Ireland did. However, I’ve seen more clueless people, particularly coming out of the industry, defending this practice. The pervading issue I see in most of the comments defending this nonsense is about the money. So because they’ll be paid alot of money to play a game where they generate billions for their employer, it’s okay to cross that line to justify such a question? If that’s the case, then you’re of the belief that these men are like animals, and not human beings. Justifying that nonsense because “we pay them alot” is a load of horse shit. Coaches get paid alot too, so let’s subject Andy Reed to, your sons are drug addicts,” and Tom CAble to “you’re a wife beater” comments before hiring them just to see how they react because we need to know how they’ll react to those kinds of situations in the heat of battle. Bottom line is that you don’t treat people like that. Money doesn’t justify treating people as sub-human.
    Until they change the system, that’s the deal, so evaluate players better, and you won’t make mistakes. Stop making excuses to act like jackasses. After a rookie pay scale is in place in the next CBA, I wonder what the excuse will be then when this billion dollar industry is paying out much less because believe me, if the NFLPA doesn’t act, there will be one. When a fortune 500 company hires a college graduate, they’re taking a significant risk based on less visible signs, just a degree and whatever recommendations come there way. It wouldn’t be tolerated there, and it damn sure shouldn’t be tolerated in a league where the players drive the profits. And for you dumb asses talking about, well that wouldn’t be an issue in a Fortune 500 company, then you’re even more clueless than you sound because people from every walk of life have tremendous issues. Their grades in college have no relation to where they’ve come from to get where they are. Also, office politics are quite brutal, so when you make asinine comments about what is above board for that world but tolerable for “dumb” football players is quite absurd. It just let’s me know that you’ve never been in a high pressure office setting and need to get a clue before you speak on the subject. Being overly jealous of athletes because they make a lot of money is not a way to come to your every conclusion concerning them. If it bothers you that much, stop watching them, please.
    Get some class. There’s your best example of why Herrock and Millen were huge failures in the NFL, and Jeff Ireland won’t be far behind them back to being a scout when Bill Parcells leaves Miami.

  74. Mike, I’m sure you’ve been asked if your mother is a prostitute. You handled it alright, didn’t you? I don’t think it is such an outrageous question, just out of the ordinary for most job interviews.
    On the other hand, if your bosses at EnBeeSea felt that you would have an extremely adverse reaction to that question, engaging in activity that costs the company millions of dollars, they might be inclined to ask you that in a controlled environment during the interview before paying you a huge blogger salary and giving you the control of some of their hamster wheels.
    Now, you might say “well, just because some defensive back might bring that up is no justification; we should make the defensive backs nicer so they don’t hurt Dez Bryant’s feelings.” But you would be an idiot if you said that.

  75. Wrong again Florio. Questions, whether or not are in poor taste, are simply questions. If they accused his mother of being a prostitute, that’s one thing. Asking if she was is a legitimate question.
    Maybe you need to get off your easily offended horse and go through boot camp. Having your mother called a prostitute is considered getting off easy. Try pushing an M1 Garand through 100 yards of sand using just your face with your hands tied behind your back or getting waterboarded, tasered and pepper sprayed (with military grade OC, not the civilian watered down crap). Those guys put their lives on the line a hell of a lot more than you, any athlete or any coal miner. So STFU with your equal opportunity questionnaire BS and realize that when millions of dollars are invested in the player the person writing the checks gets the right to ask whatever the hell he/she pleases.
    If the player doesn’t like the questions, go sign with another team or interview with a company who’ll pay them $40-50k a year if they’re lucky with their degree and no work experience.

  76. Isn’t this coming from the same league that will fine you through the roof for saying something about officials making bad calls? If players can be asked ANYTHING, then they should be allowed to say ANYTHING.
    And, anyone who thinks that because the football player makes more money that means the standards are different is hysterical. We sure don’t hold American businessmen to that standard. Give me a break.

  77. Actually PFT is correct here. As a former recruiter of engineers in hi-tech, there many different ways to ask a question and get what you are looking for. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business and don’t tell me that they can’t afford to have a top notch recruiting and interviewing structure in place without asking whether one’s mom is a prostitute. If what they are looking for is to gauge Dez’s reaction, then there are many other ways to do so without getting to this level.
    These GM’s may be great talent evaluators but they are lousy business professionals. The NFL is a huge business in America. If we are going to hold Walmart to treat its min wage employee with respect, then we should use the same standard to the NFL.
    During my recruiting days, we copied these examples. Take a high level candidate out to dinner. Make sure you work with the restaurant staff to screw up his meal on whatever he ordered. Then see how he reacts when his food is served. Some will say that the interview is more important than the meal so they didnt bother making a big deal out of it. Some argued with the wait staff. We knew right away who are the people who knew how to prioritize. Another example was, we would intentionally have someone else call the cell phone during the interview. See if the candidate put it on silent, take the call, or ignore it. These are just simple things you can do without asking stupid questions.

  78. “Coal miners don’t get $42 million guaranteed”
    Precisely. And you already knew this would be the response.
    Shut the hell up for once, Florio.

  79. Dalton: Be cool.
    Dez Bryant: What if someone calls my mom a whore?
    Dalton: Is she?

  80. Sounds like Flori-ho* is trying to determine the status quo… What do coal miners, for example, have to do with this?

  81. Coal miners don’t get $10 million dollar signing bonuses jerk off. If I’m paying them that kind of money I’ll ask whatever questions I want and if I don’t like there answer than I won’t hire them just like the dolphins did. The NFL is a whole different beast. The same things that apply in your job and mine don’t apply here. If Dez Bryant doesn’t like than he can go use his degree and get a regular job and enjoy his 70k a year like the rest of us slobs. Than no one will care if his mom banged truck drivers for a living.

  82. I agree with mr.bozojones. The door should swing both ways. The whole draft business is a gamble, more or less. Why in the hell should the NFL GM’s get to ask whatever the they want? To test how cool a player can stay? Anyone can act a certain way in an interview and be completely different on the field. It’s stupid to think that asking a guy offensive questions will show you his true character. While they’re at it, why don’t they spit on the players and slap them across the mouth? I mean, everything’s fair game, right?

  83. # mr.bozojones says: April 29, 2010 10:37 PM
    Ok, I’m cool with Herock’s thinking, but that door swings both ways. If Ireland who’s employed by the Dolphins can ask anything of a prospect, then prospect should be able to ask about Parcell’s divorce or Jerry Jones’ facelift. Prospect has the right to know about his future employers.
    Have you ever been on a job interview before? This post makes me doubt it. Because it’s exactly that, a job interview. He was interviewing for a job that has a very large amount of press coverage, so if his mother was a hooker, it would’ve came up sooner or later with the press, and that isn’t exactly good press for any player/team. Well, maybe the steelers at this point.

  84. When’s the last time a miner was given a huge signing bonus that sets them up for life?
    You give someone that sort of money, you want to know they’re going to stick around and earn it.

  85. The NFL cannot have it both ways.
    If Pope Goodall is going to ride his high-horse all day over player conduct and claim that NFL players need to be held to a higher standard, then it has to be that NFL execs and the NFL processes and transactions between teams and players must also be held to a higher standard.
    It might, therefore be a good step forward to at least have the NFL raise the bar to the minimum level of other industry practices.
    Unless Jeff Ireland asked the exact same ‘prostitute’ question of white players he also interviewed, Dez Bryant would easily claim racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL/Dolphins.

  86. I signed up to comment on this.
    Nice rant “double standard” Florio. You moan about Jamarcus Russell and needing a rookie pay scale and then turn around and complain about this? You’re an idiot.

  87. So, do you think they asked Tim Tebow if oral violates his virginity or if he ever relieves himself using visual aides. Did they ask Tebow if he ever touched any kid wrong when he was out circumcising them Phillipinos! That is a crazy question but not as bad as asking if Tebow mom was a hoe!
    How ridiculous this is…I am a black man and the last thing some white guy in a suit need to be bringing up to some young brother, who is also an athlete, is, if he moma is a hoe!
    He lucky Dez did not off him with a paperweight. If Dez moma was really that way and she still stayed with him when he was a baby and tried to feed her babies doing hooking and then that fool asked Dez about it I bet you my life Dez would have beat that ass like a man possessed.
    These boys momas are like Gods for them. They dadys leave out before they ever born and some momas do all they can then some to pay the rent man.
    Now another brother can get away moma jokes when he is trying to get in a kids head cause the kid can throw it right back at him on the field but this kid was in an office with a suit on and the man holding the keys to his future starts accusing his moms of hoeing! That is crazy as hell!

  88. Of course Herock wants questions like this to be asked. It generates more business for him.

  89. Ok, every comment I have read has defended Ireland and Herock… maybe it’s time to stop banging this drum, PFT. Your NBC liberal politically correctness can only be tolerated for so long. It’s football, it’s copious amounts of guaranteed money.. if you want a sport where wanna-be gangsta athletes are treated with kid gloves, go cover the NBA and get off your “NFL is Evil” soapbox. Enough is enough.

  90. This just in. We caught up with former NFL janitor Chris Jones for his opinion on the Dez Bryant situation. He didn’t have too much to say.

  91. “And, please, let’s not give the NFL a pass simply because the job is competitive and stressful.”
    Absolutely, you don’t ask your surgeon a question like that. You don’t ask the airline pilot. and it’s not just money on the line, it’s your life. The NFL needs to step up and act under the same business standard as every other business. There are plenty of media coaching and crisis communication firms that can teach your employees how to act and what to say in any pressure situation.
    In fact, taunting your competitor is grade school tactics. These elite athletes saw and overcame that before junior high. Time to grow up NFL. Do you ask the kids in your Play 60 program if their mothers are prostitutes? NFL, you can’t have great programs like that, yet a double standard like this. Unacceptable.

  92. Mr Herlock thinks it is ok to ask any question during pre-draft interview because of the dollars that are at stake, however this view is not tolerated in other professions of high finance. For example, the movie and entertainment industry deals with similar dollar amoumt of 10-20 million and also with very young people and they do not ask such questions during interviews. The same also goes to the financial industry. Young men and women are given large $ risks in the trading and investment industry and yet they are not subject to such line of questioning as the NFL.
    Herlocks comments exemplifies the the problem in the NFL. Any line of questioning is justified due to high $? Does that mean if the $ dollars are high enough that anything and everything is allowed?
    If so, I think we have answered the question of who might be a prostitute,…, it is not Dez Bryants mom,…, it’s the NFL.

  93. Hey Florio, any subject that any player might use to needle another player on the field is “appropriate” to raise during an interview for an NFL job. Trash talk is a time-honored weapon in sports and can be used to rattle an opposing player and put them off their game. Stop being such a prissy frickin pc lawyer. We have to put up with the sterile, sanitized, big brother “don’t look at me that way I’m offended” workplace guys like you have forced on us every day at work. Football is a nasty, violent, profane, in-your-face sport and we like it like that. Unless you’re saying that you want to make trash talk illegal in the NFL (and if you do, you don’t love the sport, it’s just a paycheck to you) STFU about it. Football is a warrior’s game. Stop trying to turn it into just another nancy-boy pc nightmare.

  94. I’m with @Jon. Why is ok for an a*hole journalist to ask the question but not a prospective employer? Or do you think that one wouldn’t ask him that if it hadn’t broken this way?

  95. Ken Herock, you just don’t get it. What is the point of asking if the kid’s mom is a prostitute? Do you think you know her?

  96. “And maybe folks who work in and around the football industry, like Ken Herock and Matt Millen, shouldn’t be the ones to decide whether or not the status quo is acceptable.”
    What makes you the authority on who should decide this? The player has every right to say to a prospective employer “I believe this line of questioning is disrespectful, and if you continue with it, please take me off your draft board because I would not play for you.”
    No player with an ounce of brains is going to pound an NFL executive. He does that, he gets arrested, goes to jail, and there goes his NFL future. Maybe these questions are a lesson in restraint. A team does know the answer to questions like that, but they want to see the reaction. These players are prepared for this eventuality.
    You give me 20 mil guaranteed and you can ask me any sick or denigrating questions you want and I won’t bat an eyelash, unless you ask me to.

  97. I start by saying it is time for the NFL to change unless every player is ask this question, then no player can be ask this question. Is it profiling? I don’t know
    If the United State Navy can allow women on submarine, then the NFL can change the way it interview potential player

  98. They should have asked Tebow if his Mom ever has any regrets for not visiting Doc Marten before he was born.
    Now that would have been a good story.

  99. Dez’s mom was (is) an addict who did serious time for dealing crack…anyone who doesnt think prostitution is a logical inference for a person with that record is living in a dream world
    Florio, wake up

  100. one more point: NFL execs give up the “anything goes” line of questioning IF the rookies agree to a rookie salary cap and give up being paid tens of millions of dollars without EVER having produced ANYTHING on a pro football field

  101. Florio is proud to be a coal miner’s daughter. He was raised in the hills of Butcher Holler. He was poor but he had love, that was one thing his daddy made sure of……

  102. Ireland, the more I think about this, is a genius. Not only did he get the response from Bryant in which he can be judged he also got a response from everyone concerned about the NFL.
    It was a question and I’m amazed at the range of emotion in everyone’s response and opinion. To be able to get under peoples skin like that is a gift.
    Pretty sure if he was on the field and playing against you guys he’d have moved his team 90 yards down the field without taking a snap.

  103. Florio, although you make a great point, coal miners aren’t payed millions of dollars up front before they prove they can do the job. Also, most who apply for a coal mining job, aren’t thugs and dumb jocks. I think Ken Herock makes a good point as well, and see nothing wrong with asking offensive questions. If it can be used as a way to gauge a potential players reactions, it then becomes a legit question.

  104. First you were discussing wether those types of question are appropriate. It seems you made up your mind
    “The bigger question, in our view, is whether an industry-wide tolerance of inappropriate questions somehow makes the questions appropriate.”
    Are you not hearing or reading properly? What people are saying is that it is appropriate because of the impact on the team and sport.
    Try it this way. You seem all supportive of Goodell’s dictatorship and suspending players without crimes being involved, because it generates bad press. How do you see it playing out if a player gets asked a question like that and punches someone. Bad press, right? Looks bad for the game, right?
    Quit being a pansy. With this kind of money at stake for teams, they can ask whatever they need to ask.
    Why don’t you ask current and former players, who aren’t in the media and maybe had a tough upbringing so they can relate the question. Ask the damn players!

  105. And the futher feminization fagging out of America continues due to the liberal socialist mindset. Lawyers, politicians, etc. continue to push their whiney agenda.
    When we were young, coaches knocked us around, pushed us, hit us in the head with balls, cursed in front of us sometimes at us.
    Guess what? We just bucked up a little and handled it. Whining was not allowed.
    No wonder our country can’t function. “Ohh, that was inappropriate, oh you hurt my feelings, oh blah, blah blah” Pathetic.

  106. Florio you hit this one right on the head. There are many questions you could ask to rattle a player, but this shouldn’t be one of them. They need to stop asking those, and it’s up to the Commish and NFLPA to set the standard of what can and cannot be asked.

  107. I think the point here is that the GM is trying to gauge the reaction of the player. As others have pointed out, if he gets paid $15 million and is a 1st round pick, he’s going to have a lot of attention placed upon himself. The question could be asked by the opposing player on the football field, and when he flies off the handle and commits a penalty in response, the GM and coach need to know that. More importantly, if the guys it out at a bar with his buddies and some guy zeroes in on the player and tries to pick a fight, the GM needs to know how that’s going to be handled too. Let’s face it, with the money and the fame also comes a big target painted on your back, and people are going to love to take shots at you. A $15mil first round pick doesn’t do you much good if he’s in jail or suspended for 4 games.

  108. Are we ever going to treat these draftees like men? Waaaaaaah you asked a question that hurt my feelings. It’s a joke how much of a PR driven puddle this country has become.

  109. There are certainly a lot of idiots posting here. The line of questioning was highly inappropriate and Ireland and the Dolphins both should be fined for this absurdity.
    Also, you dumbasses who make everything in the world about liberals vs. conservatives, get a clue. The world is bigger than your political vacuum where you waste your time dwelling. The majority of us don’t care and get sick of hearing about it. Take that shit to Politico or something. We come here to read and discuss football, unless politics explicitly intrude into the sport.

  110. The question was in poor taste period!
    I work in Human Resources, we specialize in interviewing technics and that question had nothing to do with their prior research.
    I can understand the organization asking a question such as, “We received information indicating your mother has been conivicted for illegal activities, do you mind elaborating on that for us?”
    That’s a question that gives you the ability to fact check, match up the information your investigators submitted with the answers he gives you. It’s general and broad question, that an individual can’t give you a yes no answer to.
    Come on. I agree with Dude17 – put a rookie payscale in for godsakes – since you are paying a 20 year old “$20 MILLION DOLLARS!”
    It was a stupid question, because it was not in front of the organization and you should only question what’s out there for you, if it’s not out there – then don’t question it!

  111. What a bunch of pussies!! What are you, 8 years old? Grow up. In a society that is so afraid of offending people, it’s a breath of fresh air. THERE ARE NO INAPPROPRIATE QUESTIONS ABOUT ANYTHING!! We are protecting ourselves to death.

  112. “Punishing the Dolphins or Ireland would ignore the reality that far worse questions have been asked.”
    Like what?

  113. And, please, let’s not give the NFL a pass simply because the job is competitive and stressful. Coal miners, for example, risk life and limb not 20 days per year, but more than 200. They work in dark, cramped quarters. But when they’re hired, offensive questions aren’t asked. When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.
    Coal miners dont get paid millions for one. secondly the walls do not talk to coal miners. Lets say that bryant lines up and on the other side is Joey Porter. Do you think that he isnt going to say something about his mother? Probably means no harm but that is just part of his game. Do you want bryant on the feild throwing punches at Porter in an important game because he said something about his mother. Bryant did the best thing except when he told everyone that he was asked this question.
    The real question here is do you want the million dollar contract(and to be asked off the wall questions) or do you want a 60,000 dollar a year job without the questions? I know which one I would pick!

  114. “All I know is dez bryant better not ever leave dallas because he won’t get a job in this league again.”
    It’s not like he’s a convicted felon.

  115. The amount of money a person would be getting paid is beside the point and it is a convenient excuse to justify something that is simply unacceptable. If I was interviewing for a job for $40k or $40 million, and someone asked me that question, then that would be the last question they would be asking for a while. Unless they can ask quiz potential employees from the hospital room.

  116. “How about Dez Bryant understand that its a part of the process, and that its business not personal, he took something that was business and made it very personal”
    Asking a guy if his mom is a whore is business?

  117. “I believe the correct answer for Dez was…”
    The correct answer would be for Bryant to give the effete Jeff Ireland a ghetto-style beatdown. So does the fact that Ireland does not currently walk with a limp reflect positively on Bryant?

  118. These NFL teams conduct personal investigations of top draft picks. The question did not need to be asked. It was a crappy thing to do.

  119. “Ken Herock, is your mom a whore in the business?”,”What about your daughter?”,”Did you even smoke crack, Ken?”
    If Dez can ask Ken questions about his personal life also, then it would be fair.

  120. in a real interview you cant ask someone if there mom is a whore.
    but in a real job you cant rape people(big ben), get dui manslaughter(donte stallworth), murder people(marvin harrison,ray lewis) and still have a job and make millions of dollars.
    So ask any question you want. this just shows dez cant handle it and he is a diva player.

  121. AdamEagle5 says:
    April 29, 2010 10:43 PM
    You’re on fire with shitty comparisons tonight Florio. Can you explain to me how, exactly, coal miners are like NFL players?
    It’s the helmets.

  122. “And, please, let’s not give the NFL a pass simply because the job is competitive and stressful. Coal miners, for example, risk life and limb not 20 days per year, but more than 200. They work in dark, cramped quarters. But when they’re hired, offensive questions aren’t asked. When they’re working, hostile and abusive statements among employees aren’t tolerated.”
    Yeah, there’s a valid comparison.. Because energy companies pay coal miners tens of millions of dollars for 3-4 year contracts. And because veteran coal miners at competing energy companies will ruthlessly harass an opposing energy company’s miners. And because millions of fans watch coal mining on TV and spend countless millions of dollars on authentic coal mining merchandise. And advertisers pump hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars into the energy industry. And the energy company is liable for all of the actions, in the mine and out of the mine, of the miners they hire. And because any transgressions by coal miners, in the mine or out in public, will result in huge PR hits for energy companies, and possibly the loss of advertising revenue.
    It’s a completely valid comparison in every way. Apples to apples. Spot on, Mike. Keep up the good work!

  123. Duan says:
    April 30, 2010 8:33 AM
    The question was in poor taste period!
    I work in Human Resources
    That’s all I needed to see. Thanks for what was I’m sure a very valuable contribution to this discussion.

  124. As someone much smarter than I once said…
    I want you to remember that it’s a job.
    It’s nothing personaI.
    Being called a c***sucker isn’t personaI?
    No. It’s two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response.
    What if somebody calls my mama a whore?
    Is she?
    I want you to be nice…
    ..untiI it’s time to not be nice.
    Dalton – Roadhouse

  125. Whoever said this had nothing to do with liberal vs conservative knows very little about the earth and humans. The shift to liberalism has prevailed for thousands of years. Once things get to stupid from liberal agendas, a conservative backlash hits society. It has always happened. Wake the hell up and open your eyes.
    Just go back from 1910 to 1940 to 1970 to now. Just do that.
    Sheeeesh, watch another Dancing with the Stars or some other reality show. Maybe that will keep you occupied.

  126. I am probably one of the few people that believe the question was justified. Lots of people have burned into the ground the money and exposure factor. So, I won’t beat that dead horse any longer. Truth is this… if a guy can’t keep his cool when someone asks something about his mother, then he should not be handed millions of dollars. I am sure the guy has heard worse in middle school or on a football field. Fact is this, they should ask tough questions to ensure their investment is well worth it in every sense. Especially, with the oversensitive ladies who are playing WR in the NFL today. The question I really want to know the answer to is this… did they sit Brandon Marshall down and give him the “tough” questions?? He has a much more abundant history of being a problem child than Bryant ever did.

  127. BDiddy says:
    April 30, 2010 12:05 AM
    I don’t give two craps about Dez Bryant but I hope he gets to play Miami soon and that he tears their garbage secondary to shreds.
    PS: Jeff Ireland rapes boys while Bill Parcells watches.
    The PS part is certainly one of the most disturbing things I have seen approved for post here on this site. Any abuse or reference of abuse about kids or animals (anything that cannot defend itself) is intolerable & shouldn’t be approved for display.

  128. It is relevant to his well being and the people he surronds himself with…..being a 1st round pick and getting millions and dealing with your mom being a prostitute with drug issues is a big deal…but if he explains she out of his life and won’t affect his life moving forward then an NFL team needs to know this…..they know about his mom just like the NFL knew Vick was dog fighting all of his life!!

  129. i think the media and many people that are posting here are forgetting how much trash is talked on & off the field between nfl players and it gets nasty.dez bryant has done nothing but show he has a weakness and come sept. defensive players all over the league are going to talk much crap to him, you can bet on as for the question asked by ireland yes it was a shocker but in the end it showed miami how thin skined he can be and thats not a quality you want in a need to be mentally tough as well and at this point dez needs to learn that and for his sake i hope he learns it before sept.

  130. eagledan – NSA secuirty checks has asked you worse questions!?
    texline – my point to you is, what if someone asked you that question? You can’t tell me how that’s approriate? Even if his mother was a prostitute, how would it dictate his level of play, if it did not affect his level of play, when he was playing practically for free at Oklahoma State?
    Like I said earlier, there is a smart way of doing things and a dumb way, obviously you agreed with the ignorant way!

  131. florio, you need to get over it.
    the team was about to pay a 21 year old $20+ MILLION dollars. he can handle a question about his mother being a prostitute, especially if it is a fair question to ask, given the circumstances.
    his mother was a convicted felon. since when are we so worried about offending felons?

  132. Why….WHY….do we insist on comparing coal miners (and other “reglular” job) to that of athletes….Here is a GREAT comparison…..a waitress in Las Vegas has to maintain a certain weight….would THAT be tolerated in an OFFICE job??? Hell NO! But do we write about that? Do we scorn Vegas casino’s??

  133. JunkYardDogg1156 says:
    April 30, 2010 10:42 AM
    BDiddy says:
    April 30, 2010 12:05 AM
    I don’t give two craps about Dez Bryant but I hope he gets to play Miami soon and that he tears their garbage secondary to shreds.
    PS: Jeff Ireland rapes boys while Bill Parcells watches.
    The PS part is certainly one of the most disturbing things I have seen approved for post here on this site. Any abuse or reference of abuse about kids or animals (anything that cannot defend itself) is intolerable & shouldn’t be approved for display.
    I’m not going to act offended by BDouche’s comment, because I’m not. But JunkYardDog triggered a thought.. I know, one in a million, right?
    How is it that Florio gets up on a soapbox and proclaims to the world that the union needs to do something about abusive naughty language like that “allegedly” used by Jeff Ireland in a job interview, and then lets a steaming turd of a post like that one get past him?
    The word “hypocrite” comes to mind. Seriously, Florio, if you’re going to go ballistic over hard questions guys in the business say are normal, maybe you ought to patrol your own area a little better.

  134. Coal miners don’t get $10 million dollar signing bonuses jerk off. If I’m paying them that kind of money I’ll ask whatever questions I want and if I don’t like there answer than I won’t hire them just like the dolphins did. The NFL is a whole different beast. The same things that apply in your job and mine don’t apply here. If Dez Bryant doesn’t like than he can go use his degree and get a regular job and enjoy his 70k a year like the rest of us slobs. Than no one will care if his mom banged truck drivers for a living.

  135. pitch87mph says:
    April 29, 2010 10:56 PM
    I agree with this poster completely… well said sir, well said.

  136. country club met the street last week.
    What’s Herock gonna say???
    If all those backward men were challenged every day on how they treat people their heads would spin . . . . and they would get out – “football’s changed they would say”
    folks, these coaches and front office men aren’t the cream of the crop from their schools . . .

  137. I signed up just so I could comment on this. Originally, I was on the side of anything goes in a Q&A session. Also, Bryant comes off as a whiner here; he’s making a team look bad because they passed him over. Furthermore, he didn’t put the comment in the context in which it was asked, at least according to the Dolphins.
    Then again, if this is so important a part of the interview process, why don’t the league’s teams use professional advice on how to ask sensitive questions or get the data without going overboard? alisgod made comments that most of you bypassed on the way to your rants. It’s a multi-billion dollar business, so why use amateur methods? A simple meal can tell you more than you need to know.
    Its obvious the Raiders didn’t take JMR out to eat. They would have bypassed him when he ordered a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon and a loaf of toast as a snack.

  138. What a player should do when asked that question is choke the living shit out of the asshole asking it!
    People like Ireland and Herick are part of whats wrong with todays society. There is no way on God’s green earth that anyone should be allowed to ask such a question in a job interview. The NFL is no different then any other employer. Now it’s the league management that seem to feel entitled! The NFL need to fire Ireland now to save it’s reputation.
    If it is not ture, Bryant should sue Ireland, Parcells, the Dolphons, and the NFL and tech these egomanics a lesson. Otherwise Acme Plumbing will feel they can ask prospecive employees such crap!

  139. @riscifiguy: Is your mom a whore?
    I don’t really have any reason to assume she is. I just want you to blow a gasket.

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