FanDuel - WFBC

December 16, 2003

"You faggot! Yeah, you heard me. You faggot!": I guess the president of an NFL team didn't have the presence of mind to shut his mouth. Matt Millen (of devout coward fame) had a verbal altercation with former Lion Johnnie Morton. Today he made himself unavailable for comment, leaving reporters to ask players the difficult questions.

posted by patrickje to football at 05:11 PM - 16 comments

Does anyone have this on tape? I would like to loop this with Jim Mora's "Playoffs?" tirade during Christmas dinner.

posted by lilnemo at 05:15 PM on December 16

Someone explain why Millen has a job. And I'm not talking about the stupid remarks, I'm talking about the Lion's 9-37 record, the fact that he doesn't live in Detroit ... I was talking with Vonnie Holliday, Trent Green, Tony Gonzalez and one of the coaches, Joe Vitt. I wished all those guys the best and good luck in the playoffs and what was he doing in the Chiefs locker room congratulating all the Chief's players? How many close friends does he have on the Chiefs?

posted by Mike McD at 05:27 PM on December 16

...and what was he doing in the Chiefs locker room... He just wanted to know: "Where are your testicles?"

posted by lilnemo at 05:55 PM on December 16

Matt Millen sounds like a devout idiot.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:48 PM on December 16

Ah, most normal people say stuff they don't mean when they're angry. I'd have used strong language if a guy told me to kiss his ass. He made a mistake, he apologized - cut him some slack. Now about that 9-37 record, I'm in total agreement.

posted by dusted at 07:07 PM on December 16

dusted, I expect better out of someone in the position Millen is in - after all, a good part of his job is dealing with the press and with PR issues. The only reason Millen still has his job is that the Fords seem to have a hard time firing under-performers. (Exhibit 1: Wayne Fontes.) Millen has been an unmitigated failure since arriving in Detroit. Of course, part of his problem might just be the Curse of the Lions (there, I invented a meme. Pass it on.). He hired a coach that had the charisma and leadership of Walter Mitty, he has lost any rapport he once had with the players, his acquisitions in the off-season have been largely ineffective. I hope that this stupid little incident is the proverbial straw on the camel's back, but knowing the history of the Lions, I think we're stuck with this blockhead for awhile yet.

posted by deadcowdan at 07:57 PM on December 16

and - AND - he committed a pet peeve of mine: the unapologetic apology. "I apologize if I offended anyone." Argh. If you believe what you did was wrong, say so: "I apologize. I was wrong." No caveats, no ways out, no blaming the listener. Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled program.

posted by deadcowdan at 08:08 PM on December 16

If a player on the Lions performed as well as Millen has as team GM, how long would he stay employed if he did this? They should punt the loser immediately.

posted by rcade at 07:49 AM on December 17

Ah, most normal people say stuff they don't mean when they're angry. I'd have used strong language if a guy told me to kiss his ass. He made a mistake, he apologized - cut him some slack. If Millen had yelled "You nigger! Yeah, you heard me. You nigger!" He'd be unemployed today, and probably never work in football again. Letting him get off with a non-apology apology just re-enforces the fact that its acceptable to bash gays. I love football, but I'm through spending any money on the NFL.

posted by BigVACub at 09:27 AM on December 17

If Millen had yelled "You nigger! Yeah, you heard me. You nigger!" He'd be unemployed today, and probably never work in football again. I agree that if he had said that, he'd be long gone. I guess it comes down to which words are more unacceptable. They are both offensive, but I think the word "nigger" is probably worse than "faggot." Regardless, I don't like it when someone is vilified for one moment of bad judgment. I just don't think his words automatically make him a sexist homophobe.

posted by dusted at 11:51 AM on December 17

I just don't think his words automatically make him a sexist homophobe. Just out of curiosity, what do Millen's words make him? An enlighted individual? I'm not saying you have the guy drawn and quartered, but he's in a very visible position for a very visible organization? If repeatedly calling someone else a faggot doesn't get you fired ... what does?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:49 PM on December 17

He might also be enlightened. Or not.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:50 PM on December 17

I just don't think his words automatically make him a sexist homophobe. What do Millen's words make him? What do anyone's words make them? Words are a fickle measure of character, and are easy to hide behind. Actions are far more telling. Truth be told, Millen is probably uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality, just like a large part of the country. He probably mocks homosexuals in private, or while hanging with the boys. He probably secretly hopes his off spring won't be bent. He is probably a very typical heterosexual American male. This however is all speculation. I wouldn't crucify the guy for his words (hell, I'd get pretty riled if I was trying to be nice to an old acquaintance and was rebuffed in such a way), but his 'get out of jail' free card has now expired, and the next slip up could cost him his job. Oh yeah, and Millen is stupid as hell for saying something like that, given his position. Reminds me of the people skills displayed by my manager on a daily basis.

posted by garfield at 01:18 PM on December 17

Just out of curiosity, what do Millen's words make him? His words make him a very angry man at that moment. He was trying to congratulate a former player, and he was spurned and called an asshole, right after losing a game. I just think there needs to be some perspective. Making someone out to be a villain is as easy as making them into a hero, and the media does both equally well. Reality is always somewhere in between.

posted by dusted at 01:48 PM on December 17

The Lions should promote Mooch to be GM (as well as continuing on as coach) and get a businessperson in as president. He can get them a lot further without Millen on his back.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:50 PM on December 17

Mooch wanted more power over personnel decisions in San Francisco (instead he was shown the door). I don't know if he's qualified for the GM position, but he couldn't do much worse than Millen.

posted by dusted at 12:11 PM on December 18

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