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Abraham Lincoln remarked that: “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”  (Hers, too. I said that.)  As an attorney, dishing out advice is something I do all the time, every day.  So I hope I’m not being too rough on this former athlete who gave some really poor advice and another one who endorsed it. Pigskins, not advice, were their stock in trade and they probably should have left it that way.

In 2014, the National Football League (NFL) brought Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter to its Rookie Symposium to talk to the newly-wealthy youngsters about how to behave themselves responsibly in the face of all the temptations which would surely accompany their newfound fame and fortune.  Video of that talk was recently unearthed and this is what Carter said :

“If y’all got a crew, you’ve got to have a fall guy in the crew,” Carter, in his Hall of Fame jacket, told the players. “I let my homeboys know, y’all want to keep rolling like this? Then I need to know who’s gonna be the fall guy, who’s gonna be driving. Because y’all not going to all do the right stuff now. So I’ve got to teach you how to get around all this stuff, too. If you’re going to have a crew, one of them fools got to know he’s going to jail. We’ll get him out. … If you’re going to have a crew, make sure you know who’s gonna be the fall guy. OK? … If you’re going to have a crew, make sure they understand, can’t nothing happen to you. Your name can’t be in lights, under no circumstances. Alright? You all understand that?”

Um….. bad advice, Cris.  Needless to say, Carter has now engaged in the modern penitential rite of taking to Twitter to tweet his mea culpas to the Twitterverse. He was also upbraaided by ESPN, where he is currently an analyst and the NFL.

Another former rookie symposium speaker, Giants Super bowl hero Plaxico Burress got it right: “They’re basically kids. … We should be telling them, at least have one guy in your crew — or whatever you may have — to say, ‘Hey man, look, don’t do that. That’s not smart.’ ” Burress, who spent nearly two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub (really) in 2008, seems to have learned something.

Just when Carter admits, and we can all agree, that what he said was stupid, along comes former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant who says Carter’s controversial statement that football players should have someone ready to take the blame when something goes wrong is “understood.”

“There’s not a whole lot wrong with this statement, but the delivery is a little off,” he said “…I think there’s an unwritten rule that your gaggle of guys need to look out for the guy who’s going to be on SportsCenter if everybody gets in trouble.”

Wrong.  The delivery isn’t “a little off.”  The advice was dumb and Chris Carter seems to finally realize that now as does Plaxico Burress who really couldn’t have a “fall guy” when he was standing there with a gun in his hand and blood on his leg.

 

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