You Don't Have To Be A Fucking Stooge

You Don't Have To Be A Fucking Stooge

Yesterday, word started getting around that Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead had skipped a court date after being arrested for shoplifting at a Woodbridge, Va., convenience store. Shortly after that, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett used his Stern Voice to tell reporters that the team was “gathering information” and considering cutting Whitehead. They apparently didn’t gather much, because Whitehead was cut a few hours later despite having been nothing more than a victim of identity theft.

If you cover the NFL for a living, your only response to this fiasco should be to heap scorn upon the Cowboys. Even if you can’t get worked up about the naked hypocrisy necessary to hastily cut Whitehead while players with actual legal troubles remain on the team—it’s not exactly shocking that star players receive more slack than scrubs—you should at least be able to summon some righteous anger at the Cowboys’ shamelessness.

What you should absolutely not do is help the Cowboys, who just took a player’s job (while preaching about their moral standards) through sheer force of negligence, and spin the story by uncritically passing along shit like this, which makes no sense unless read as actual public-relations work for probably the scummiest team in North American sports or overt public performance of being a wised-up reporter:

This explanation from the Cowboys amounts to them saying, “Ah, you see, that reason we gave for cutting Whitehead is not actually the reason we cut him. In fact, there were many other reasons to cut him—reasons we’ve read you, anointed reporter, in on—and that final reason, the non-existent one, was simply the last straw.”


If you are a professional reporter who is fed an explanation like that from a Cowboys source, the prudent thing to do is to use your platform to air out a historically shameless attempt at ass-covering. Or just do nothing! You can take the greasy wad of nonsense that was just handed to you and throw it in the garbage. “Thanks, but no thanks,” you can say, before getting back to tweeting inane training-camp updates.

There is no law demanding that you be a mouthpiece for a team that very clearly screwed up in an incredible way and is now scrambling to control the story of its screw-up by talking about how the nobody who forced his way into the NFL by strength of will and had his dog kidnapped and was the victim of a bizarre identity-theft scheme is actually the bad guy. If nothing else, have some fucking self-respect.

Correction: This post originally included a tweet from Yahoo reporter Charles Robinson. It has been removed as it was sent before news of Whitehead’s identity theft came out.

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