What Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland reportedly asked Oklahoma State wide reciever Dez Bryant isn't the first inappropriate thing a front office has asked a draft prospect, as Yahoo!'s Mike Silver points out.
But even more than the innapropriate and disgusting "Do you wear a g-string?" one team asked Gerald McCoy, or the Bucs asking Rhodes scholar Myron Rolle how it feels to be a quitter, Ireland's quizzing of Bryant -- who was drafted by Dallas -- completely crossed the line.
Last Wednesday, the night before he was selected 24th overall by the Cowboys, former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant told me that during one of his pre-draft visits, a high-level executive of one NFL franchise had asked him if his mother, Angela, was a prostitute.
“No, my mom is not a prostitute,” said Bryant, whose background – including his mother’s lifestyle and [his mother's] past legal troubles – was under great scrutiny prior to the draft. “I got mad – really mad – but I didn’t show it.”
I’ve since been told by a source close to Bryant that Ireland was the person who asked the question during a meeting in the GM’s office.
Gross. So on top of completely mishandling the Jason Taylor situation while re-signing guys who've been actual trouble themselves (never mind their mothers), along with Zach Thomas' revelation that the front office wouldn't even let Thomas thank Dolphins fans after being cut, Ireland is now asking potential Dolphins to their faces if their mothers are whores.
His own mother must be so proud. That is, if she's not out working a corner. Perhaps Bill Parcells should've inquired? OH WAIT, THAT WOULD BE WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE.
Ireland called Bryant this afternoon, after the Yahoo! report broke, to apologize.
"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I'm consider drafting," he said in a statement. "Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions. Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him.
"I appreciate his acceptance of that apology and I told him I wished him well as he embarks on his NFL career."
Of course, it took the news going national for Ireland to do anything about it, so perhaps he's the one with character issues.
NFL franchises routinely grill prospects in interviews about injuries, incidents, and incidentals, in part to see how they react and in part because they invest millions of dollars into the players they draft and jobs and livelihoods depend on their success. But the Dolphins can find out plenty about how Bryant's raising may effect his ability to function as an adult without being smug, needling pigs, and Angela Bryant's sexual history will not ever suit up in the NFL.
Nor does it determine whether or not she has raised a man who can handle a job in the league.
If Ireland can't conduct a decent draft without resorting to inferring a player's mother is a pincushion for pay to that player's face, then he doesn't deserve the job. And he certainly doesn't deserve any respect, from ticket buyers or owner Stephen Ross or anyone else.