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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
NFLPA criticizes Ireland's lack of tact

By Tim Graham

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has released a statement about Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland's suddenly infamous pre-draft meeting with Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant.

Ireland apologized Tuesday for asking Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Bryant's mother had served time in prison for selling crack cocaine.

Smith's statement at NFLPlayers.com reads:
We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen. During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions held by team personnel. NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man. For the past year, active, former and incoming players have heard me speak about the expectations we have of them as members of this union, their teams, communities and families. It is equally true that the same kind of respect is demanded of their employers.