bill-swift - August 22, 2012
The New York Giants have been in a little bit of trouble the last few days due to a video that has been circulating on the internet. Apparently defensive lineman Jason Pierre Paul thought that cornerback Prince Amukamara needed a bath--so he gave him one. In a tub full of ice cold water.
What probably has made this incident such a big deal is that it isn't the first time that Prince has been dunked--it's his eighth.
Events like this are not unusual for first year players; hazing goes on all the time. Rookies are often stuck with the check when a bunch of guys go out; players will go way overboard with their orders just to drive up the bill. Carrying shoulder pads is common, getting duct taped to the goal posts, singing your alma mater's fight song, and getting odd hair cuts are just a few of the things that go on.
Prince is not a rookie though; he's a second year player.
It's been reported that they keep dunking him in order to toughen him up and help him develop an edge (hear that opposing QBs? Prince is soft!). That claim has been refuted by another defensive lineman, Justin Tuck:
We don't dunk guys who we don't think will be a part of our team and are going to help our football team," Tuck said, via Tom Rock of Newsday. "It's kind of a good thing that you get dunked. I know that doesn't sound right, but Prince is one of those guys who everybody around this room loves and we find him to be one of the most amusing guys. He kind of in some ways enjoys the fact that we give him a hard time...
Hmmm...Anyone else wonder if anyone has asked him if he likes it (it sure doesn't look like it in the video)?
Hazing hasn't always gone over well. When Roy Williams tried to get Dez Bryant to carry his pads a couple seasons ago the ensuing controversy made national news. Jeremy Shockey got in a fight with linebacker Brandon Short over singing his school fight song.
The crux of the controversy over this video for some people is that it depicts a big guy bullying a little one. Incidents of bullying have made national news in recent years so things like this can be seen as promoting it. The people involved can say all they want that it wasn't, but the perception still remains.
Check out the video and judge for yourself.