1. To this day, nobody has stated how the question was posed. Was it asked like "So is your mom a prostitute?" or was it asked like "Our investigations have brought up allegations that there was also prostitution in her past. Is this true to your knowledge?" Yes in the long run it's the same question in the long run but you have to admit there's a huge difference in presentation, - FinFanRod
So if polite words are used, it's OK? I think there's a lot of attempt being made to justify what is unjustifiable. I can't construct a conversation where this question sounds acceptable. Let's remember that Bryant was angered by it. So we can assume he didn't open a conversational path or expected it. Just the opposite. I'm open to hearing an appropriate context. I just find it hard to construct one that ends with, "Was your mother a prostitute?" and Bryant upset.
2. Why can't you see Ireland was just trying to get a reaction from Bryant, because he's going to hear worse on the football field." --Peter, Miramar
2. I don't have a problem with the question. I think it's a reasonable question just to see how a player with a possible attitude problem responds. - anotherfan
Well, you have the right team to follow for your tastes. Ireland was the only GM/coach/scout of the no doubt hundreds who poked and probed Dez Bryant over the past several months evidently to ask him that tough question. The rest of the league isn't doing their job as thoroughly, according to this view.
3. "... as far as you implying a racist sentiment on Ireland's part, I think that is just as Bad as what you accuse Ireland of doing unless you have prior knowledge of him being a racist ... Best wishes even in disagreement, Jim/Robbinsville NJ
First, I never called him a racist. Let's be clear on that. Ireland seems like a good person in the limited times I've talked with him. But you can make a mistake and be insensitive on an occasion without being racist. I raised this question: "'Would Ireland have asked a white receiver that same question?' And that this was a, "question and situation tinged with stereotypical prejudice."
An older, white man in a position of authority. A younger, black man in a job interview. A question about the black man's mother being a prostitute. Charles Barkley on Dan Le Batard's radio show on 790 Wednesday, when asked if Ireland's question was "racial stereotyping," answered: "Clearly.it's a racial stereotype. Clearly. Clearly ... It clearly has racial overtones."
Doesn't mean it does. But to categorically say it doesn't is naive.
4. "This is the latest overblown, hyped up story in the absence of real news I have yet to see. Do you think this is the first time such a question has been asked of an NFL prospect? They face plenty of questions about their backgrounds; gambling, drug use, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, absentee parents, medical records (physical and mental health histories), their children, their personal relationships... the list is extremely long." -- Eddie.
Sure, they face plenty of questions, probes, investigations, etc .... But I talked with four NFL players today who have been in the league in the past decade. None have heard anything asked like this. Mike Ditka said he hasn't heard of anything like this. There is, as you suggest, a larger issue of just what teams are asking players and why they're asking them these days. You never hear this kind of stuff being asked in the NBA. Why the NFL? As for asking the specific question Ireland did, maybe you have knowledge no one else seems to have, but I haven't heard anyone else say they've heard this asked before. .
5. Lets face it-you don't like the guy. I read you and will continue to read your columns on line. I enjoy your journalism but on this one I have to agree with most of the posters here. Because if Ireland's "ways" that are not condusive to a "good interview" and allow you more insight into the team and the Trifecta, you appear to have a bit of a vendetta against him. No matter what he does it feels like you will never warm to this guy." - Uncle Dave
Look, I'm 48. I've written a column for years. I've done good work and bad work, made good friends with people I've written about and not gotten along with other people. If athletes or coaches or whomever I'm covering want to talk with me, great. That's always more fun. If they don't want to talk, however, that's fine, too. The great Edwin Pope taught something years ago when he told a team's p.r. person, "If (player's name) doesn't want to talk with me, just tell me. It'll save both of us a lot of time."
The larger point is that the Parcells Way hasn't done Ireland any favors here. Parcells locks down his people from talking to the media. Ireland talks only at league-mandated times. That means he's not practiced in talking in public (and it's showed) or understands fully how words play out in what's a public job. No one really knows him and that's how he wants it. And that's fine. He's got a big job to do and, if he thinks this is the way to do it, who am I to say otherwise?
What I will say is that this closed-door policy does a disservice to his career. Ninety-five percent of his success will be from his work in the football office. But the five percent on how he conducts himself on the public stage can undermine all that. He's been bad at talking (Jason Taylor espisode, for instance). Now all most people know of Ireland nationally is from this Dez Bryant issue. Fair? Maybe not. But it's the bed he has chosen to make.
6. "... the lack of information available during the offseason and from May-July is inexcusable. There are fans out here that have been fans of this franchise for 40+ years who are left to fend for themselves like in a desert, dying for anything that they can read to pin their hopes for the coming season. My family plus other friends used to have 8 season tickets. We even drove in caravan to the Dallas-Miami Superbowl loss in New Orleans as well as the one in Houston when we beat Minnesota. I think the Trifecta need to work at this and if I was the owner I would sit them down and address the lack of respect they have for the fans. - Carlos
I have to admit, I'm surprised this isn't a bigger fan issue regarding the closed-door pollicy. Forget about the media getting shut out. It's tough work to be a fan sometimes with the lack of information. Sure, the most important thing is winning. But part of it is having fun in following your team. And some morsels of information are important for that. Tony Sparano is a good interview and good dispenser of information when he talks. But it's unfair he has to face the brunt of questions and be the voice of the franchise all year.
7. Dave, why have all your articles about the Dolphins gotten so negative lately? Did the organization do something to offend you too? - cheeseymagee
Hey, come on, I predicted a week ago when the schedules came out they'd go 11-5. This is going to be a fun season. But I'm not going to shake pom-poms every time I write a Dolphins story.
8. "I'm rather surprised that you would join in the gutterball stuff Dave." - Ed
Sometimes when the game goes in the gutter, you've got to go with it.
9. You do understand that most people think Ireland was OK asking this question, right? - Pete
A Sun-Sentinel poll had 76 percent saying it was wrong and insensitive. Not scientific, but a guideline to how people are thinking.
10. "I've been, and will always be, a huge Fins fan, but today I'm a little embarrassed." - Jose V
Me, too.http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/ ... he_ir.html