Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has become somewhat of a media darling because of the fact that he has beaten cancer and has gone on to find success in the NFL ranks. Pagano is also known to be a wonderful guy. His players love working for him. That’s why I was so shocked and dismayed to hear about his comments during a recent interview on a radio talk show.
The host asked him if he would consider allowing any of his players to marry his daughter. He responded that he would allow his star quarterback, Andrew Luck, to marry her. The host then asked him if he would require Luck to shave his neck beard before the wedding. Pagano then replied, “No … just treat her right, and if she ever calls home crying, you’re a dead man!”
The talk show host never flinched at Pagano’s stunning response. Then, in an effort to underscore the fact that he thought Pagano’s remarks were no big deal – or possibly even funny – he continued to jokingly press Pagano about Luck’s neck beard. But threatening someone’s life, even in jest, is no laughing matter. Apparently, however, it is now okay to threaten someone, as long he is white, male, and heterosexual. Just don’t try it with a minority, woman, or LBGT person.
Imagine the howling that would have occurred if Pagano had said the following: “If I ever caught my wife cheating on me, I would beat the crap out of her.” There would certainly be no he-he-he’s and ha-ha-ha’s then. You can’t even kid around about doing any kind of harm to a woman or another protected demographic. At a minimum, you would lose your job – and you might even be arrested and charged with a hate crime. But threaten to kill someone from an unprotected demographic and no one bats an eye.
I say it’s time to dispense with such silly double standards. If you’re not allowed to threaten one person, you shouldn’t be allowed to threaten anyone. Therefore, the NFL, along with Colts owner Jim Irsay, should demand that Pagano tender his resignation without delay. At a minimum, his players should threaten to sit out training camp until he is gone. But, so far, Pagano hasn’t even been asked to apologize for his barbaric remarks. Go figure!