The Kansas City Chiefs will reportedly visit former Missouri running back Derrick Washington. The news comes from Tony Pauline of Draft Insider.
If the Chiefs are indeed interested in Derrick Washington, the organization should be ashamed of itself.
Washington is a convicted and registered sex offender. In 2011, he was found guilty of sexually assaulting his former tutor while she slept. It took the jury but 2 1/2 hours to convict Washington, who still maintains his innocence.
Missouri smartly kicked Washington off of their football team and out of their school. He served only 120 days in jail before being granted parole. While in prison, he also plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault of an ex-girlfriend.
Following his release from prison, Washington joined the Tuskegee football team and played out his last year of college eligibility last season.
I am not here to argue about Washington’s guilt or innocence. I don’t have to. He’s already been convicted.
I’m here to call for the Kansas City Chiefs to cancel this visit.
Just months ago, one of the organizations own players, Jovan Belcher, murdered his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, before taking his own life at the team facility. Belcher shot Perkins, the mother of his child, nine times.
For the Chiefs to be considering bringing Washington, for what is essentially a job interview, is mind-bogglingly irresponsible. This is a time when the Chiefs organization should be speaking out, both publicly, that violence against women is unacceptable.
Instead, the team is prepping to interview a man who admittedly assaulted an ex-girlfriend and was convicted of entering another woman’s room while she slept and fondling her.
Even more stupefying is that six NFL teams were reportedly planning on attending Washington’s Pro Day at Tuskegee. The Chiefs were not among them. That means that it is possible that including the Chiefs, seven NFL teams, that we know of, could be considering adding a registered sex offender to their payroll.
That should go over great at community events.
In the wake of the rape cover-up and eventual convictions in Steubenville, Ohio, NFL teams have got to be cognizant of the messages they send to young athletes. The football players at Steubenville thought they were above the law. They thought they could heinously rape a young woman and get away with it. When they realized they might actually get in trouble for what they did, their first worry was that they might get kicked off the football team. These kids had more respect for football than they did for the physical and emotional well-being of their victim. Kids don’t develop that kind of warped sense of reality on their own.
Allowing Washington to even snag an interview with an NFL team has the league sending the wrong message. He may have only served 120 days in prison but Washington should still be judged in the court of public opinion.
The Kansas City Chiefs, a team that knows all too well the effects of violence against women, has a chance to make this situation right and to be a leader here. All they need to do is call off the interview and denounce the fact that they ever scheduled it in the first place.
Washington has paid his debt to society and as such, he’s been granted a second chance at his life.
But that doesn’t mean he deserves a chance with the Kansas City Chiefs or in the NFL.
Unless those who should know better, give it to him.