Cris Carter apologizes after telling NFL rookies: 'You've got to have a fall guy'


Cris Carter, the Vikings Hall-of-Fame wide receiver, is catching some heat after a video surfaced that shows him advising NFL rookie players to make sure they have a "fall guy" who would take the blame if they ever got into trouble.

Carter and another Hall of Famer, Warren Sapp, were speaking at the NFL's Rookie Symposium last year to advise the new players on how to handle life in pro football.

Their specific "fall guy" comments didn't make any waves until now, though, after ESPN published a feature on former 49ers linebacker Chris Borland who retired from football earlier this year.

In the article, Borland said he was “appalled” when he heard the comments, although he did not name the players who spoke.

It wasn't very hard to figure out who they were, though, since the video was posted on the NFL's website - until Sunday afternoon when it was taken down. However, it's still available on Deadspin and YouTube.


Here's some of what Carter said:

“Just in case you all are not going to decide to do the right thing, if you all got a crew, you’ve got to have a fall guy in the crew. Y’all not gonna all do the right stuff. I gotta teach yall how to get around all this stuff too. If you gonna have a crew, one of them fools got to know he going to jail. We'll get him out."

At one point Carter called Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the stage and used him as an example of a player who should aim to deflect any negative publicity, because he will be "Teddy Bridgewater, Inc."

Late Sunday evening, Carter tweeted an apology.

Borland was clearly put off by Carter's remarks, but it doesn't seem the NFL had any issues until the negative publicity began Sunday; Carter was invited to speak at this year's rookie symposium as well, according to NBC Sports.

Some critics were also put off by the fact that Carter was wearing his Hall-of-Fame jacket in the video.

The NFL released a statement Sunday afternoon addressing the video:

ESPN also came in for some questions, since Carter is one of the network's football analysts. But the network didn't identify Carter as the speaker in question when it published Borland's article.

ESPN issued a short statement Sunday evening, which said:

We completely disagree with Cris’s remarks and we have made that extremely clear to him. Those views were entirely his own and do not reflect our company’s point of view in any way.”

Sapp may not be the best role model for NFL rookies either, since he was recently charged with domestic violence, NBC Sports points out.

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