The lead story in the sports section of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC Tuesday wasn’t the Lakers and Suns in the Western Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs. No, the top of column one was occupied by Arizona Cardinals lineman Darnell Dockett apologizing for showering while he was seen on an internet webcam last week.
(Finally found a worthwhile Arizona boycott)
Last Friday morning I uncovered the shudder-worthy details, which the Republic’s Kent Somers reports today led to Dockett apologizing to every single one of his Cardinals teammate. (Hey D.D., what about the rest of us?)
“It’s a learning experience for me,” Dockett said. “I’ve never been in trouble, I’ve never been in the news or on gossip sites or things like that. I apologize to all the kids, everybody in the community who looks up to me. I apologize to my team. I walked by each player individually and apologized. I got to do better things than that.
“Y’all will never see me on no news or media, anything like that again, unless it’s for me trying to take somebody’s head off.”
Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt to Somers on Dockett:
“The thing we have to emphasize with our team is that it’s not a private conversation; it’s a public forum. Anything you say or do in that forum can be instantaneously in the media.”
So it’s okay to do crazy stuff online, just make sure the media doesn’t see it. Thanks for that, Coach.
Dockett’s behavior (once again) leads to a larger question: With over 1,000 NFL players, some of whom obviously can’t seem to control themselves, why doesn’t the NFL outlaw players using Twitter?
The immediate response to that prospect is the league would quickly be served a lawsuit designed to preserve a player’s right to do anything they want online. Whether in full view of the public or not.
If I was an NFL owner, my response to such legal action would be to recognize that players can indeed Tweet all they like, they just won’t be doing it on my dime. If you want to get paid millions to play a kid’s game for my team, not using Twitter is a microscopic sacrifice.
There are plenty of rules in place in ordinary corporations that inhibit employee use of social networking sites, so why isn’t the NFL considering such measures?