Bullying and hazing has taken center stage in the NFL following the scandal between Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. While on his weekly radio show this week, Jerry Jones shared a story of a time when he had to step in and defend a rookie from hazing that went too far.
“I’ve had to ask a couple of times a couple of places out here to rethink, let’s say a liquor bill, when they’ve taken a rookie out and hung him with a huge, huge bill for liquor, where they’ve exorbitantly ordered,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “I might tell you that one of the finest businesses in this town, when they had ordered and charged one of our rookies a lot of money, they just absolutely took it off the bill and gave it to him.
“It was Pappas Steakhouse, to give you an idea. That’s having compassion. It was overdone. They just decided, ‘Hey, we’ll make our contribution to the do-right rule, here.’”
It could be referring to an incident in 2010, when Dez Bryant was left with a $54,896 tab at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Bryant had refused to carry receiver Roy Williams pads during training camp, and Williams excused it. Williams did say that Bryant would just have to take the team out to dinner. Bryant took the offensive players out to eat, but Williams invited the defensive players as well.
“They got the young fella,” said Bryant’s adviser, David Wells. “What could he say? He had to pay it unless he wanted to wash dishes for a month.”
Jones said players need to respect one another when hazing traditions take place. One of those common traditions is buying food on the road, but not $55,000 worth.
“There are things in society that are certainly moving over into sports, certainly professional sports, NFL football. There’s things that society has asked everyone to recognize,” Jones said. “Having said that, I’ve always thought that anytime people welcome a new player with the proper type of sensitivity, but yet with the spirit of camaraderie and the spirit of joining the crowd — and you got to pay to join the crowd — I’ve always thought that had its place.
“On the other hand, any time you’re dealing with that, you get involved in different degrees of judgment and it can be overdone. That’s been going on since the beginning of time. We certainly would like to think that we’re on top of those issues.”