NFL: Dolphins GM apologizes for question to Dez Bryant
DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland has apologized to former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant for asking whether his mother was ever a prostitute.
The apology today came after Yahoo! Sports reported that Ireland posed the question during a pre-draft interview with Bryant.
"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I'm considering drafting," Ireland 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."
Bryant's background received extensive scrutiny from NFL teams before the draft. He was taken by the Dallas Cowboys with the 24th pick in the first round last Thursday.
"My mom is not a prostitute," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports. "I got mad — really mad — but I didn't show it."
The Dolphins declined to comment Wednesday beyond Ireland's statement.
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith lashed out at the line of questioning Ireland used.
"We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen," Smith said in a statement. "During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions held by team personnel.
"NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man. For the past year, active, former and incoming players have heard me speak about the expectations we have of them as members of this union, their teams, communities and families. It is equally true that the same kind of respect is demanded of their employers."