A black former National Football League star has come under fire for comments that some people say expressed anti-black racism.
Charles Haley, 51, who played defensive end and linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers between 1986 and 1996, told the San Jose Mercury News that he spoke to a group of players from the 49ers in May and told them to act more like white guys.
“As far as the rookies, and I know they probably got mad, but I said, ‘Why don’t you all act like the white guys? You never see them in the paper getting high or hitting people. Why don’t you act like that?’ They all looked at me crazy,” he told the Mercury News.
“I just did it for the shock value of it,” he said. “The hardest thing is these guys, they have an attention span of a 5-year-old. I’m not the most gentle and kind person to sit there and deal with that crap. I’m a little more confrontational. I think I got my point across.”
Haley said he counseled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, who broke his team rookie sacks record in 2011 but has since been in trouble for substance abuse.
“He can’t allow other people to push him in the wrong direction,” he said. “The bad part about Aldon is that nobody is going to give him the benefit of the doubt if something happens, because of his past.”
Haley told the Mercury News he is speaking from experience.
“That’s what I keep telling him, that my past haunted me. I had to sit down and make a change, and put my energy into playing football and not to those people that tried to hurt me,” he said.
Good as his intentions may have been, his comments sparked outrage from people in the Twitterverse who think he’s betraying his race.
— Shonda Simpson (@gigi122904) July 24, 2015
I’m a Charles Haley fan. He should’ve been in the HoF years ago, but his comments are example of Stockholm syndrome from which we suffer.
— Darryn M. Briggs (@darryn_briggs) July 25, 2015
— #ProBlackMatters (@sheikh_rashadx) July 25, 2015
Charles Haley told 49er rookies to act like White guys. Where the media uproar? Oh wait I forgot since he’s black so its ok. Double standard
— Chizzie Lovell (@chizman69) July 25, 2015
@sportingnews This is why we need better concussion protocol.
— Dame (@illaim) July 24, 2015
@RulingSports Charles Haley made racist comments and his plaque in the HOF should be removed as well as his name in Cowboys Ring of Honor.
— Ringneck85 (@Ringneck85) July 24, 2015
Reading the PFT comments on the latest dumb thing Charles Haley said. Nice reminder of how many dumbass racist dad types “follow” the sport.
— Mike Shea (@PatskriegDotCom) July 24, 2015
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