De Smith points out Jeff Ireland's 'history' with 'other issues'
DeMaurice Smith ripped Jeff Ireland on Monday night, noting his "history" with "other issues" in dealing with players. (AKA the Dez Bryant situation.)
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appeared on ESPN on Monday for an interview about the Dolphins hazing situation with Stuart Scott and didn't pull any punches when discussing management's roll in what unfolded.
Asked about whether the union was concerned with management's actions in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation, Smith said they'd look into it and flat-out fired a shot at Jeff Ireland's history with relating to players.
"The union will be looking at whether or not management in the Dolphins either encouraged or allowed a workplace to become unprofessional," Smith said. "Certainly we know the history of the GM [Ireland] in this case with other issues. Those actions were unacceptable then. If there are actions that were taken or not taken to allow this unprofessional environment to fester, if there were things done to intimidate another player, that's a thing the union will look at."
If you didn't get that, Smith was referring to Ireland asking Dez Bryant before the 2010 NFL Draft if his mother was a prostitute. That was a horrifically embarrassing incident for both Ireland and Ross and it's not like Smith was particularly thrilled with it, either.
Asked about the hazing issues specifically, Smith said that he understands some hazing will occur but that it's not acceptable to have anything "in our locker rooms that is not professional."
"I'm not comfortable with anything in our locker rooms that is not professional. So the real goal for our union and really our player leadership is to make sure our players and management is aware of the obligations about creating and maintaining a professional locker room," Smith said. "I know that hazing takes place, I know that ribbing takes place. When those things are taking to an extreme where it's hurtful or not instructive, the goal of our leaders and the goal of our union will be to make sure our locker room is a professional place to play."
Scott specifically asked about the "casual use" of the "n-word" in locker rooms and Smith said he doesn't think there's a place for it in the locker room.
"I think it's a bigger question. As the father of two kids and of a son who's 14 who certainly loves his music," Smith said. "I can tell you when certain words are said I make it abundantly clear what that word means. I don't think there's a place for it. It's certainly for people who understand the hateful history behind it. I don't think there's a place for it in our locker rooms."
Smith's interview makes it clear -- if you somehow didn't know -- that all eyes remain on Miami and that the heat is squarely turned up on Ireland.
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