Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Osi Umenyiora defends locker-room 'culture' in NFL

Osi Umenyiora said he knew the reaction to the Prince Amukamara cold-tub video would be "bad" but the New York Giants defensive end is standing up for the incident which he claims is part of NFL locker-room "culture."

In a tweet he sent to Steve Weatherford— which has apparently been deleted— Umenyiora says if Weatherford is apologizing for his video then HBO should apologize for "Hard Knocks."

Umenyiora's take on Jason Pierre-Paul's dunking of Amukamara may make head coach Tom Coughlin cringe but he is a locker room insider and has a good perspective into the way players co-exist.

"It happens.  I hate it got out there like that but when you look at it on the video, it looks a whole lot worse than it was actually was," Umenyiora told The Star Ledger.  "If you had seen the whole thing, they'd know it was just playing around and it's stuff that just happens.  But it was nothing worse then what you see on that show."

Asked if he thinks people would be shocked by a lot of the things that go on in the locker room that players consider mundane Umenyiora answered, "Absolutely.  I think so. But that's the way it is.  If you grow up in this culture or whatever, there are certain things ... I mean, you probably play around with your cousins and brothers and stuff like that in a way you wouldn't normally in a public place.  It's the same thing here."

He also knew there would be hell to pay for the hazing stunt after Umenyiora admitted he knew it looked bad to the media.

"Honestly, I was just sticking up for my teammate because when I saw it, knowing what I know about the way it actually was, I was like, 'Oh, that's bad.'  I promise you I said that," Umenyiora said when asked about the tweet to Weatherford.  "But as a team, we always have to stick together.  It was the truth, but I still have to stick up for my teammate."

Umenyiora knows the video can be decieving.

"Because of the way it looked.  Some of the language and, even though JPP and Prince were good friends, from the outside looking in, you'd think, 'Man, JPP's a bully.'  It's not like that," said Umenyiora.  "Everybody loves Prince.  I just know it didn't look the way it ever was."

Umenyiora also hinted that he might have been more than just a spectator while Weatherford was aiming his camera.

"I was right there," he joked.  "They didn't catch me on camera, but I was there egging the whole thing on."

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