The New York Giants are making headlines not for their play on the field but for their play off of it. A video was posted by punter Steve Weatherford on Twitter that showed Jason Pierre-Paul dumping Prince Amukamara into a tub of ice water after the New York Giants beat the New York Jets 26-3 last Saturday.
For some reason the video has caused a controversy among some in the media and outside of it that claim this action is hazing or bullying. But is it really? Are these reactions being made by people who really don’t understand the culture of a football team? Justin Tuck thinks so. After being questioned on the incident Tuck answered, “It’s funny, you don’t see this part of the video where after [Amukamara] gets out and dries off, he’s back playing around with the same guys that just threw him in the cold tub.” Tuck raises a good point. The judgment being passed on the players involved comes from a small snippet of the overall action and shows none of the aftermath.
Yes, there was foul language but what does that mean? A football locker room is a strange place, a place most Americans who haven’t played the game at any level wouldn’t understand. Full disclosure, I only have one year of organized football under my belt but I did become a part of a fraternal organization later on in life with its own subculture that is not understood by the outside world, the United States Army infantry. Average Americans would not understand the shenanigans of an infantry platoon. We would be judged as being a group of children or unorganized frat boys with guns to some. Maybe worse to others. Anytime you get a group of men together, who for the most part are considered alpha males, for extended periods of time, like in the army or on a football team, things will occur that the outside world doesn’t understand.
All of this uproar is much to do about nothing. These are adult men horsing around. The only real regrettable thing was the fact that it was made public. Weatherford probably assumed most people would find it as funny as he did. I know I found it kind of funny although the Giants fan in me was praying that Amukamara didn’t get hurt.
In today’s world, with social media practically invading our personal lives and with Twitter allowing us glimpses into a world of the athletes and other celebrities we had previously been excluded from, it is easy for misconceptions to take place. The line doesn’t exist anymore. Was it a mistake on Weatherford’s part? Probably but it was an innocent one. Was Pierre-Paul and others wrong for throwing Amukamara in a pool of ice? Not at all. Just like the ice in the tub, this too should melt away and become nothing more than water under the bridge.