GIVE ME A BREAK!
While pundits from coast to coast dished about a San Francisco 49ers training video featuring lesbian porn and racist humor, the team owners issued an apology this afternoon and the players tried to focus on the business of playing football.
The video, put together by the team's former public relations manager as a primer for how players should deal with the media, is "offensive in every manner," team owners Denise and John York said in a statement.
"We deeply regret that anyone from our organization would produce such senseless, inexcusable material," the statement said. "Policies are being put into place to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again."
After today's practice session at the team's facility in Santa Clara, some members of the 49ers offered their own takes on the video.
"This is not what this organization is about," said coach Mike Nolan, who wasn't with the 49ers when the tape was shown to players last summer.
Nolan said he hadn't viewed the tape, but that judging by a written summary, it was "tasteless." Quarterback Ken Dorsey referred to the tape as a "third rail."
Defensive end Andre Carter defended public relations manager Kirk Reynolds, who is no longer with the team.
"He's been awesome with on-the-field issues and off-the-field issues," Carter said. "There was no harm done; it was basically just for us as players. I'm sure when the tape went out, it offended some people. But that was not that person's intention."
Safety Tony Parrish likened the bawdy content of the video to that featured on "Chappelle's Show" of cable TV.
"Is the video insensitive? Yes," Parrish said. "But what type of video is it? It's a public relations video. How a not-to type video. ... Knowing the context in which it was done, I don't think it was as bad as everyone is making."
Linebacker Julian Peterson, who appears in the video as a panhandler, voiced a similar view.
"It wasn't meant to harm anybody or be any kind of negative message at all," he said. "It was supposed to be an in-house thing. I know Kirk personally. I know he has not addressed anybody with racial slurs. ... I'm just so upset this got out the way it did."
Greg Aiello, spokesman for the National Football League, said he was not aware of any other team-produced videos on media relations.
"The standard approach is to use our video and supplement it with comments by the PR directors, head coach, etc.," he said.
FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! IT IS A FOOTBALL LOCKER ROOM! I certainly feel the tape is STUPID! I wouldn't choose to watch such a video. I find the video OFFENSIVE, but SO WHAT! At LEAST they didn't try to release the video to the public and call it a DOCUMENTARY! SHEESHK! I wonder- if they had shot video portraying President Bush as an ape or a gay lover- would they have called it ART instead of claiming outrage!?!?!