The National Football League, as expected, was all over this like white on rice. As reported by Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, the NFL, in a letter dated December 5, 2007, gave Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman a warning about his previous comments about Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna. Here are some excerpts from the letter sent to Newman from Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president for football operations:
Your comments were thoughtless and irresponsible in view of the negative impact such statements have on all of us in football. They are contrary to what the NFL stands for, and do a disservice to the League, your team and yourself.
The public’s view of NFL players is essential to our continued success as the most popular sport in America, and your comments undermined the good that so many players have done in developing a positive image. You are among the privileged few able to represent the NFL to our youth and communities. Like it or not, you are a role model … with all the responsibilities.
Be advised that your comments will now compel us to carefully monitor your activities in this weekend’s Cowboys-Lions game. As you know, blatant fouls may subject a player not only to fines, but to suspension as well. So conduct yourself accordingly.
The letter was hung in front of Newman’s locker before Thursday’s practice. Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, who was told about the letter by Newman, apparently isn’t concerned about any retribution happening on the field. I would like to think that Newman is smart enough to know that not only is head-hunting punishable by the league, but it is a dumb move – period. If anything, it should provide you with extra motivation to allow the Cowboys to maximize their success on the field this weekend against the Lions.