Douche of the Week: Albert Haynesworth

                

Despite the fact that we are sports fans, Haynesworth was not on our radar until earlier this week. And now that he is, we have many things to say.

For those who don’t know, Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been indicted on a charge of misdemeanor sexual abuse in connection with a February incident with a female waitress in Washington, D.C. The alleged incident occurred at the W Hotel on the night of February 12-13. Haynesworth, who was celebrating a friend’s birthday and impatient to pay his $800 bill, reportedly touched a waitress inappropriately with a credit card.

According to court documents, Haynesworth wanted his bill immediately. Noting the waitress was weighed down with dishes, he tapped the woman on her arm and shoulder with his credit card and when it was clear she could not take the card in her hands, Haynesworth “slid the card down the center of her bra and began touching her breast”. One witness who saw the exchange believed that the waitress had agreed to let Haynesworth place the card in her bra, but reported that her tone turned stern and she asked him to remove his hand after he touched her. The card was ultimately declined, and another waitress took it back to Haynesworth, prosecutors say in the document.

The issue heated up this week when court papers were filed Wednesday offering Haynesworth a plea deal in the sexual abuse case.  Haynesworth’s lawyer maintains his client will reject the “deal.” However, what’s emerged as salacious fodder are the details included in the court documents, and specifically, Hayneworth’s own line of defense. As reported by the AP on Wednesday, court documents reveal that when questioned at the time of the incident by hotel security, Haynesworth responded, “I didn’t touch her,” then stated that he “doesn’t even like black girls.” When police detectives later tried to interview Haynesworth, he spontaneously told them, according to court papers: “I know what this is about, she is just upset I have a white girlfriend. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dated a black girl. She was trying to get with me.”

Hmmmm.

The sports world is reacting with harsh criticism in response to these latest allegations, perhaps most centrally because the man in question has behaved as a douche- both on and off the field- for years. Hence encouraging some in sports media to conclude, “The sooner he’s out of football, the better off the sport will be.” A little background…

Albert Haynesworth began his football career as a recruit to the University of Tennessee and was later drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 2002 NFL Draft. At that time, he was the fourth defensive tackle selected from a draft class considered to be loaded with talented defensive linemen. However, despite his bright beginning in the world of professional sports, he has become both a disappointment and joke to serious fans of the sport for his numerous injuries, behavioral suspensions and general demeanor.

Haynesworth made headlines in 2006 after being ejected from a game for stomping on opponent, Cowboy’s Andre Gurode’s, head and face with his cleated foot. According to Gurode, the men had engaged in no conversation or exchange leading up to Haynesworth’s outburst. A video of the stomping can be viewed here. The physical interaction took place following a touchdown by Julius Jones on a 5-yard run, putting Dallas up 20-6 in what wound up as a 45-14 victory. According to an article published by CBS News, Gurode’s injury required 30 stitches to repair the damage done to his neck and face. Haynesworth’s outburst drew a five-game suspension — the longest for on-field behavior in NFL history.

In reaction to his own bad behavior and suspension, Haynesworth stated, “I apologize to Andre. What I did was disgusting. It’s something that should never happen. I mean, I’m not a dirty player. I don’t play dirty.”

In his first week back, Haynesworth was called for unnecessary roughness against Maurice Jones-Drew and charged a $5,000 fine for his behavior by the NFL. You might think this would be a moment when Haynesworth would have taken efforts to soften his approach. But, when asked if he would be gentler during play, Haynesworth retorted, “I’m not going to be any gentler or whatever. Maybe I’ll just help them up.”

You’ve got to ask yourself at this point, monster or complete idiot? Either way, at 6’6” inches tall and 335 pounds, Haynesworth has demonstrated for years, that he’s not above using his size to overpower any adversary. Which brings us back to the latest incident.

Regardless of his intentions the night of February 13, witnesses have alleged Haynesworth touched a woman against her will and in an inappropriate manner. It is regrettable and certainly worthy of a sincere apology and some sort of recourse. Unfortunately, instead of manning up and cooperating with decency and integrity to clear his name and make amends, he launched into a spiral of shameful and discriminatory commentary that did nothing but undermine his position of innocence.

For a 29 year old man, his history of aggressive and often outwardly violent behavior, inappropriate conduct with women, and shameful (when not pathetic) performance on the football field, is beyond insulting to fans, it is disheartening. Take in to account that he signed on to this stint with the Redskins for $100 MILLION, and his behavior is irreprehensible. As cruel as it was, we agree with the Onion’s portrayal of you; and more importantly, we agree that you should do the sport a favor and take yourself out of the game.

As a final note, it should be stated that Haynesworth has been embroiled in numerous other legal troubles not detailed here. In May he will stand trial in Virginia for allegedly punching a man during a road-rage assault. Last summer, he was involved in lawsuits from a bank, an exotic dancer, a man injured in an automobile accident and complaints from his ex-wife that he wasn’t paying for her health insurance or their children’s bills. A big thank you to ESPN for providing this extremely relevant data.

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