I generally applaud players for speaking their minds, but New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle is in desperate need of an inner filter this week. He first sparked a bit of controversy Tuesday by complaining that Giants fans booed his team at halftime of Sunday's game against Jacksonville. He quickly learned that New York/New Jersey's not the right place to be complaining about booing. You go out there and stink up the brand new joint for a half and trail 17-6, you're going to hear some boos.
But instead of tempering his remarks Thursday, Rolle took it to the next level, which turned out to be an embarrassing level for him. He threw common sense and good taste out the window and compared his plight to our troops coming home from war.
"They want to make it that guys paid this much money for a ticket, yeah, I understand that," Rolle said Thursday. "We're risking ourselves out there on the field each and every day also. When soldiers come back from Iraq, you don't boo them. I look at it the same way."
I thought Clinton Portis' take earlier this season on women in the locker room was misguided, but Rolle made him look enlightened. I wonder how long it took the Giants' excellent PR staff to make Rolle aware of his gaffe. I'd set the over/under at 45 seconds. The Giants safety released a statement through the team the same evening:
"I used a very poor, inappropriate example earlier today to demonstrate how seriously I take my job," said Rolle. "Obviously there is no comparison between the men and women of our military putting their life on the line defending our country and what I do. They risk their lives and that gives me the opportunity to play a game for a living.
"After I made my earlier comments, somebody even said to me: How would your father, who is the chief of police in Homestead [Fla.] and puts himself at risk every day, feel about the comparison you made? Again, it was a very poor, very inappropriate choice of words."
I think Rolle's comments probably upset coach Tom Coughlin as much as anyone in the building. He has a profound respect for our military and he's brought in soldiers to speak to his players on several occasions. I don't think Rolle's a bad guy or anything, but perhaps he should step away from the mike for a day or two.