For Pete's Sake

NFL denounces Cris Carter’s advice for players to get a ‘fall guy’ if they face legal trouble

Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter spoke after being selected as a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2013.
Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter spoke after being selected as a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2013. The Associated Press

This sounds like a good idea, but ...

A year ago, the NFL had Hall of Famers Cris Carter and Warren Sapp hold a symposium to help rookies avoid the pitfalls of success in pro football.

It was important things like: working hard, not getting caught up in past success, being a pro on and off the field and picking a friend to be a fall guy if the NFL player gets in legal trouble.

Wait, what?

Here is how it started:

“Just in case you all are not going to decide do the right thing, if you all got a crew, you’ve got to have a fall guy in the crew,” Carter said as Sapp laughed.

Carter then called Viking quarterback Teddy Bridgewater up to the stage and expanded on that thought, pointing out that Bridgewater was the one with the big contract.

“Every dime that comes into Teddy is going to be earned by him and this body,” Carter explained. “Now I let my homeboys know, you all you all want to keep rolling like this, then I need to know who is going to be the fall guy, who is going to be driving, because you all are not going to all do the right stuff now. So I’ve got to teach you all how to get around all this stuff, too.

“If you’re going to have a crew, one of those fools has got to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out.”

Sapp echoed that, “We’ll get him out.”

Remarkably, the whole video was still available on the NFL’s web site as of 7 p.m. Saturday, and you can watch it here.

UPDATE: The video has been removed. The NFL issued a statement denouncing Carter. This came via Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal:

“This was an unfortunate and inappropriate comment made by Cris Carter during the 2014 NFC Rookie Symposium. The comment was not representative of the message of the symposium or any other league program. The league’s player engagement staff immediately expressed concern about the comment to Cris. The comment was not repeated in the 2014 AFC session or this year’s symposium.”

Figuring the NFL would remove the video, I took a Vine of part of it on Saturday:

Sapp, of course, had legal troubles this year. He was charged with soliciting a prostitute in February. In June, he was charged with domestic violence.

Now that Sapp is out of the NFL, he apparently didn’t have a fall guy in either case.

Hat tip to Saad Yousuf.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.