There are only a couple of reasons Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com might have for writing the following article about Dez Bryant, and I will get to them in a second.
First, here is the meat of Calvin’s article. To read it in its entirety, click here:
ORLANDO, Fla. — Before the start of the 2012 season, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant agreed to a strict set of conduct rules. They were set up by Bryant and his adviser David Wells in consultation with team officials.
Two years in, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said the rules should remain in place.
“He doesn’t need to drop his guard,” Jones said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “In some respect, none of us do.”
Jones’ comments brought about laughter during his chat with beat writers.
Bryant must adhere the following guidelines:
- A midnight curfew. If he’s going to miss curfew, team officials must know in advance.
- No alcohol.
- He can’t attend strip clubs and can attend nightclubs only if they are approved by the team and he has a security team with him.
- He must attend counseling sessions twice a week.
- A rotating three-man security team will leave one man with Bryant at all times.
- Members of the security team will drive Bryant to practices, games and team functions.
If Bryant breaks any of the rules, he must have a legitimate excuse. If so, team officials are in contact with him quickly.
The rules stem from a difficult 2012 offseason in which Bryant was charged with allegedly assaulting his mother, Angela Bryant. The receiver was charged with a Class A misdemeanor by the DeSoto, Texas, police department.
The Dallas County district attorney’s office dropped the charges against Bryant and made two stipulations: Bryant must agree to counseling sessions, and he must stay out of trouble for one year. That was accomplished.
Why write this article now?
One has to wonder at the motive behind embarrassing Bryant by saying that he is still being treated like a school kid with a curfew and a laundry list of regulations. Watkins even pointed out that the beat writers had a good laugh at Bryant’s expense when Jerry Jones made a funny about it.
Was this article vindictive? Has Watkins somehow been slighted by Bryant, or felt that he was?
Is this article cheap sensationalism? Does he figure to get thousands of hits on “Cowboys news” during a slow period for NFL fan interest by kicking a hornet’s nest?
Is this news any fan needed or wanted? Or, is it lowest common denominator stuff?
Is he auditioning for TMZ or Deadspin?
Is he lazy or lousy? Or, am I loopy and off base?
Whatever the reason or excuse for the article, it smacks of a cheap shot and low blow meant to humiliate a man who has apparently done everything asked of him and worked to clean up his act and grow up.
It feels like bullying.
Dez fires back at Calvin Watkins on Twitter
If you think Dez wasn’t stung by Watkins’ irresponsible article, you are wrong. He was. And he fired back the same way one might recoil if sucker punched.
Though he has since deleted it, Dez tweeted to Watkins: “@calvinwatkins I have lost all respect for you for writing a bullsh*t story that’s no longer true…don’t bring your ass by my locker.”
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online observes:
The article in question quotes Jerry Jones saying Bryant is still more or less under surveillance by the Cowboys.
Obviously, Dez disagrees. Even though he deleted Tweet, maybe it is tweets like this, that still make the Cowboys uneasy about Bryant. Twitter not the place to handle these type of disputes.
I agree with Littal that taking to Twitter to settle such a dispute is almost always going to be a bad idea for any athlete or public figure.
That said, I am with Dez in his anger. I see it as righteous indignation. I see no value in Watkins’ article, other than to see what he can stir up. What will he do next? Laugh at some recovering alcoholic for being on step 12 of a 12-step program?
I would not blame Dez if he put Watkins on the “Do Not Talk To” list and kept him there until he explained himself or apologized. If Bryant had done anything newsworthy, my response would have a different tenor altogether. But he hasn’t and he didn’t deserve to be humiliated by a bratty writer having fun at his expense. I bet Calvin & Co. would not have laughed so heartily in Dez’s presence.
What do you think?
Related articles across the web