Hernandez the “pink elephant” at Symposium


During the week of the NFL’s Rookie Symposium, where life lessons are taught to the incoming class of rookies, there hasn’t been a shortage of conversation.

But the conversation keeps coming back to one guy, Aaron Hernandez.

Troy Vincent, the NFL’s senior vice president of player engagement, said it’s a topic that’s impossible to avoid.

“You know, there’s this pink elephant in the room . . . the Hernandez situation,” Vincent told players, via Rick Maese of the Washington Post. “The media has every right to ask you a question about that situation. And you have every right not to engage in that conversation. It is what it is. ”

As part of the opening session for NFC rookies Wednesday night, a group of second-year players were on hand to tell the new guys about the transition. But the topic of Hernandez was never far away.

“A lot of people are afraid of the words, ‘Oh man, you different,’ ” Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said. “You damn right I’m different. You damn right I’m different. I got a lot more money in my pocket, and a lot more sense. That’s the way you got to go about it.

“If you just turn on your TV to ESPN, this is a brotherhood. This is a brotherhood. One of our brothers in trouble right now. It really hurts me, man. But one of our brothers is in trouble right now because he didn’t want to be different. You got to make a choice right now. . . .

“You’re not the same dude you was when you grew up. You different now. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your boys, do things you used to do with your boys. You still do those, but you got to be smart about it, smart about your decisions, man.”

At that point the room of rookies fell silent.

With the Hernandez situation unfolding in front of them — along with former Browns linebacker Ausar Walcott being arrested for attempted murder and Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent going back to jail for failing drug tests while awaiting trial for killing a teammate in a drunk driving crash — the league doesn’t need many words.

They have examples, hopefully too many of them for the point to be missed.

30 responses to “Hernandez the “pink elephant” at Symposium

  1. This is all very uncomfortable for me. Can we please go back to talking about Dez Bryant getting kicked out of the mall and ruining his credit?

  2. How to stay out of trouble:

    Don’t posses, consume or inhale illegal substances, don’t illegally posess prescription drugs, don’t drive after even one drink, don’t posess any firearms (legal or otherwise), don’t go to night clubs, use a condom, if you are mad at your girl, leave, own 2 houses and 2 cars max that can all be paid for in cash, not loans.

  3. “A lot of people are afraid of the words, ‘Oh man, you different,’ ” Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said. “You damn right I’m different. You damn right I’m different.
    Apparently, they are also deathly afraid of the word “are”

  4. Dwayne Allen’s advice applies to anyone.

    If anyone ever says “Oh man, you different” as an insult for bettering yourself, thats a cue to cut them out of your life as they are going to be nothing but an anchor.

  5. Does anyone else find it humorous when people use phrases, malapropisms, euphemisms or metaphors with little knowledge as to what they actually mean.

  6. I barely understand what Allen is talking about. It’s as if he took a bunch of scarcely related thoughts and threw ’em in a blender.

  7. I’ve come to the conclusion that the NFL is full of terrible people and that’s just the way it’s going to be

  8. “The media has every right to ask you a question about that situation. And you have every right not to engage in that conversation. It is what it is. ”

    …why stay silent, b/c it was a dumb jock that shot these people ? How about saying he’s a stupid monkey who should be fed to a gator for what he did.

  9. He’s speaking in the language of his culture and more importantly his age group. Stop trying to fit everybody into your box as to what is correct. That’s the problem in this country and why we have so much intolerance.

  10. As if half of these kids will listen.. like Vincent said, 50 will be out of the league in 3 years, then what?

    I believe that this symposium will benefit some of these kids that may have gone in the wrong direction but a few of them will still sink like the titanic. Maybe as part of their contracts teams should insist on a % going to a reputable personal financial advisor….

  11. Shouldn’t the NFL be able to find a player who can speak to the rookies and deliver an important message about behavior, choice of friends and other crucial areas of life who is a more prepared and polished public speaker? Dwayne Allen sounds as though he is winging it, perpetuates the stereotype of the pro player who has never seen the inside of ANY classroom, and ultimately gives the rookies UNSOUND advice, essentially telling them it’s acceptable to continue associating with “your boys.” Isn’t the fact that AH continued hanging with his “boys” the reason he is, as Mr. Allen so eloquently states, a “Pink Elephant?”

  12. Seriously, why haven’t the Cowboys cut ties with Josh Brent. He kills a teammate while drunk driving, and then to top it off, fails not one, but two drug tests while awaiting trial… Seems to me that this guy has learned absolutely nothing.

  13. You speak to people in the language they understand. A prepared polished classroom speaker may suit your ear but may not reach a 22 year old. And just because someone speaks that way does not mean there is anything wrong with their lifestyle it’s just different than yours.

    As for hanging with the boys. To many of these players these boys were not friends but family, the only ones they had. And it may be a case of Hernandez being the boy they shouldn’t have hung with.

  14. > Troy Vincent, the NFL’s senior vice president of player engagement – “It is what it is”.


    “It is what it is”????????????

    That’s freaking useful “training” for the young rookies, Troy!!

    The dude is in jail right now for between 1 and 3 murders. You have got to have something more to teach these guys than “it is what it is”.

  15. These players need to realize that when they become a professional football players, not to forget the word PROFESSIONAL! You must cut the dark ties in your life. You are a elite athlete, a mentor, a hero to the public. Your job is full time football for an average of 8 to 10 yrs. Grow up or get out. I wear a uniform as well. Be professional both on and off the job.

  16. I think Dwayne Allen is one of those guys that changes how he speaks based on the crowd he is speaking to. I have heard him on local radio here in Indy numerous times and he is normally well spoken and he is one of the few guys that will give a straight up honest answer. I was surprised to see him butcher the English language but I am happy that he didn’t actually butcher another human being … or 3.

  17. This man should not be allowed to speak in public until he can speak a language that speakers English can understand. Drop the brother B.S. as well. When players say playing football it is like going to war I wish they could be sent over to the war, and allow a true hero to return to his or her family.

  18. doe22us

    He’s not trying to make it sensible to you he’s trying to make it sensible to his audience. Whether you like it or not get in a room with these players and I guarantee that’s the way they speak.

    I’m a New Englander and can’t understand a lot of Southerners but they understand each other and that’s what’s important. They don’t have to fit into my box.

    It’s a room full of for the most part young African American men and people on this board want them to sound “white”. If that’s the way they communicate as long as they get the message who cares. He’s not talking to a board of Fortune 500 executives.

  19. duffelbagsports says:
    Jun 28, 2013 11:13 AM
    You speak to people in the language they understand.
    Tailoring your message to your audience is fine but pretending these kids do not understand basic/proper/correct English ought to insult them. It’s like you (and the speaker) are saying they aren’t bright enough to comprehend what is said unless it is said in some form of broken English or street language.

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