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LaVar Arrington responds to Portis, softly

The last time LaVar Arrington responded to a perceived slight from Clinton Portis, he did so with full voice and sulfur-scented steam whistling out of his ears.

But after Portis suggested last week that LaVar was somehow out of line for speaking at Sean Taylor's funeral, Arrington took a different approach. If you haven't heard the Portis audio or watched the video, it's fairly uncomfortable; Portis sounds extremely emotional, and even near-tears, when talking about Arrington and Taylor.

As expected, Arrington addressed the issue on his radio show Thursday afternoon, and he did so with a soft and level voice.

"There was thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people who were affected by Sean Taylor's death. They did not have to know him, they did not have to be his best friend to cry, to be upset, to be hurt, to be affected by someone as special as Sean Taylor being taken away as early as he [was].

"Do I know Sean as well as Clinton or 'Tana or any of those guys that went to school with him? No, nor would I claim that I do. I never portrayed myself as being Sean's best friend. What I will say is Sean was very much a person that I got to know during the course of the time that I was there, and developed a mutual respect and I would even say a mutual love for one another, so much so where what was my fiancée at the time and his girlfriend -- ended up being his fiancée -- they met, became cool.

"And even to this day, I still keep up with baby Jackie and big Jackie, to this day they're really good friends. My wife and Jackie and our daughters play together to this day. So I don't feel the need to try to justify my relationship with Sean Taylor. It's no need for that. People are gonna say what they're gonna want to say. I don't think that this is even a situation where people need to take sides. People are trying to paint this picture that you need to take Clinton's side or take my side. It's not about no taking no sides. It's not even about that. It's very petty, if you ask me. Very petty, and unfulfilling."

Arrington said he wouldn't be taking calls on the issue, and wasn't trying to prolong this public spat. He said their last dispute was about on-field leadership and legacy, which is fair game, but he said that this sort of personal stuff should be dealt with privately.

He said that he still has love for Portis, still wishes him the best "from the bottom of my heart." And he guessed that Portis's bad feelings stem from Arrington's on-air critiques.

"If you interpreted it the wrong way, where you feel like I attacked you or I said something the wrong way, look, I'll be the first one to tell you I apologize. I apologize for that. Because this isn't what things are supposed to be. I've hugged your mother. I've kissed your mom. I've broke bread with your mom, your dad. I've hung out with your family. I've been to your house on numerous occasions. You've been to my home on numerous occasions.

"I mean, it's strange to me. Whatever it is that may have turned you this way towards me, to me it's very sad. It's very sad. And I just hope that at some point, you'll find clarity in whatever it is that you're feeling and whatever it is that you're thinking, and possibly we can sit down as men without this playing out over the airwaves and on the internet and over ESPN or Pro Football Talk or anywhere else....

"So I'm not inclined to attack you. I'm not inclined to sit here and come with some type of forceful nature, to try to condemn you and tell you what you need to do and what you don't need to do. The bottom line is, man, you were my friend, you were my family, and for whatever it's worth, wherever this is coming from, wherever this has come from, what you need to do is talk to me. Like, we need to talk....

It's one thing to question my leadership and question if I played for money or if I played for the love of the game. I mean, that;s fine. That's fine. But to question something about somebody who has passed away? You'll never be able to take away the fact that he was my teammate just like he was your teammate. And regardless if I hung out with him as much as you did or anybody else did, we had our own relationship, just like everybody else that was on our defensive unit. We had our relationship.

"That doesn't mean I have to talk to him every day, doesn't mean he has to talk to me every day, but the bottom line is, we went to war together, we went through a lot of things together that I'm sure you weren't even privy to knowing, along with the other guys that I played with on that defensive unit. And if anybody on the defensive unit is listening, I'm sure they know exactly what it is that I'm talking about. So I'll leave it alone at that. And like I said, I just hope and I pray that whatever clarity that it is that you're searching for or that you need in your life, I hope you find it, man. I hope you find it. I hope you find it."

The past few years have involved several of these he-said he-said Redskins dramas. A lot of them, when you think about it, have a certain common denominator. And I don't think they usually wind up making anyone look good.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 7, 2010; 10:22 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Hopefully this will be the last public beef between the two. But I doubt it.

Posted by: mkremnitzer0 | May 7, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

What's the over-under on Portis having a beef with LaVar for kissing Portis's mother?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | May 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If CP ran the BALL like he ran his MOUTH, he'd be 1800 yards/season back. Enough already...

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 7, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The PSU grad seems more verbile than the guy who went to "The U".

Posted by: rdpinva | May 7, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis is old, fat and angry. Maybe he needs to eat some ribs and feel happy again.

Posted by: trezmartin | May 7, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I thought Levar's response to Clinton's interview was classy. I live here in Miami and went to Sean Taylor's incredibly moving memorial service. I did not know Sean, personally, but I (along with most in attendance) cried my eyes out at his tragic loss. I really don't understand where Clinton is coming from; afterall, I assume it was Sean's family that asked Levar to speak at the service.

Posted by: skinsfanmiami | May 7, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Dudes that were raised by single mothers sometimes have a lot of vindictive be-otch like ways just like a woman. Portis stirs up a lot of mess just like a woman. Dude is a drama queen. I betcha T.O. was raised by a single mother or grandma too. That is where all this diva betchy stuff comes. I actually thought T.O. was gay he did so much be-otch stuff. Portis is the same way.

Posted by: oknow1 | May 7, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis is an ignorant, inarticulate fool who should be happy he is still on the roster. Keep your head down CP. Don't draw too much attention to yourself.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | May 7, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'm not buying it, LaVar. You're just some talking head that can't risk polarizing what's left of your audience by continuing a fued with a current player who is walking on eggshells of his own.

Posted by: sorry2say | May 7, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

CP kept it real during the interview and I resepct him for it. Lavar is the worse radio sport show host we have on here in the DC area and I can't wait for his show to fail like his spot The Sidelines did last year. Keep faking like you knew the man like that when he really didn't like you.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | May 7, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Both Arrington and Portis were overrated divas.

Posted by: poguesmahone | May 7, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Who cares. What trivial cr*p.

Posted by: 44fx290 | May 7, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

the drama never ends...

Posted by: funkey | May 7, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Portis needs to man up and talk to Lavar man to man. Plain and simple. I so however appreciated that Lavar didn't take it there. And he went a step further in apologizing about other things he said but probably should not have. He used his head to try and diffuse this situation and to call a halt to all of the "played out in the press verbal altercations between the two" They will always or should be brothers becaue they played together as a Redskin for years and that should count for something. Grow up Clinton and talk to Lavar about your issues and not the press.

Posted by: ivyleague | May 7, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Arrington is a drams queen and Portis is a diva, but in this case at least Arrington took the high road. Whether it is fake or real, sincere or not, or whether CP had a valid point or not, at this point is not the issue. How grown men handle their personal business is. If Lavar is able to close it out this way, then I give him full credit. We will see if that is the case. If he refuses to speak about it and cuts off callers on his show that do, he gets full credit. If he uses this to have something to talk about while fake feigning interest about it then he is the same LA he always has been. It is only a matter of time before Arrington has to actually do his job and call Clinton out for dogging it in preseason or practice during thr year so they will have plenty to fued about later without this. This subject should be out of bounds for the public and if Lavar keeps it that way he is the bigger more mature person.

As for Portis I expect nothing more than this from him. He shows his thuggish true colors every chance he gets. A certain faction of our society sees it as "keeping it real". Most mature educated people see it a bit differently. In my opinion if Portis feels this strongly about the subject, and he wasn't afraid of Arrington, he would have had this conversation in private and cleared the air. If he harboured all this venom about a pie in the face he would have "kept it real" then and not cowardly hid behind an interviewer to pump up his chest about it five years later. My guess is he is smart enough to know at the time not to get in Arrington's face. Though I don't think much of LA's game, he was a stud manchild to be sure, and the diva would have been eating mud unless he sucker punched him and ran or got some help to "jump him" as he said he thought about doing in his article. I am also guessing that Lavar and Sean did have a relationship that Sean did not share with Portis because he knew Clinton did not like Lavar and was jealous and threatened by his popularity. I also think he looked up to Arrington a little as the face of the franchise and wanted some of that too. Everyone wants to be loved right?

We can all only suppose and guess because The Reaper cannot fill us in on the facts, and we really don't need to know anyway. The bottom line is all this should either be forgotten, or aired in private if Portis is man enough to "keep it real" while staring Arrington in the face.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 7, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I see both sides, but am a bit more sympathetic to CP on this one. Lavar basically admits that he wasn't that close with Sean, why is he giving a eulogy at his funeral? Imagine a good buddy of yours was killed and some guy you worked with that wasn't all that close with him stands up and gives a eulogy. I think I would be bitter at that person too.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | May 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Two drama queens going back and forth I think it's pretty funny. Lavar is a meathead and Portis is a joke so let ti go boyz.

Posted by: efdelaney | May 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Two drama queens going back and forth I think it's pretty funny. Lavar is a meathead and Portis is a joke so let it go boyz.

Posted by: efdelaney | May 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Two drama queens going back and forth I think it's pretty funny. Lavar is a meathead and Portis is a joke so let it go boyz.

Posted by: efdelaney | May 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: scmonty1 | May 7, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Lavar takes the high road and stays classy.....and no Clinton that's not the name of a road in Jamaica.

Posted by: yampaco | May 7, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's time to take a long,serious look at the education the players from the "great" U receive ?

Can ANY of them speak English ?

Posted by: petebowling1 | May 7, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I like LaVar's can never go wrong by taking the high road. CP needs to stop being bitter.

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | May 7, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Alright--Danny loves Clinton. Lavar hates Danny. Danny hates Lavar. Clinton fights for Danny, and kisses up to Danny. Clinton gets to do whatever he wants. End of analysis.

Posted by: audacitea | May 7, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

LaVar gave a reasoned response -- and offered Clinton an opportunity to talk out any remaining differences. While I doubt that Clinton is man enough to accept the offer, I say fair enough, already, and let ST21 rest in peace already.

Likewise, Lavar, please discontinue the on-air ST21 anniversary observances and commemorations... which some might be led to believe are just a little too self-serving, especially for a man in your position.

Posted by: Vic1 | May 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

OK - two men who could have been great and maybe HoF status. But they aren't. They were good but not that great..

get over yourselves and allow those who achieved greatness to comment on the sport.

No one cares about either of you.

Posted by: oldnova | May 7, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"CP kept it real during the interview and I resepct him for it."

How can understand anything he ever has to say?

Dude gives me headaches when he talks.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis = Mental Midget.

I pray to God that Both Portis and Haynesworth get there walking papers this year.
They[sic]represent everything that is wrong with this team.

Posted by: dashriprock | May 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Whats funny about all this is that if I remember correctly, Lavars statement at #21's funeral was, first of all, not a eulogy, was brief and basically just said this:
life is too short for petty stuff, appreciate your loved ones while they are here, appreciate people while they are here because they can be gone in a minute

And, Clinton STILL doesnt get it and wants to hold grudges against the Gibbs, against Lavar, against Zorn, against Campbell, against the O-Line, against Sellers...nothing is ever his fault.
He doesnt care.
He doesnt love football much.
Its about money and status and stripper poles in your crib.

They guy didnt even play hard that season until #21 died he played hard the last 5 games and that is it....and then started playing slack and out of shape again, giving up on runs, running for the this point Portis is Shaun Alexander Pt 2

Posted by: kreator6996 | May 7, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Arrington... he did not go to "war." He did his job; what is with all this "we went to war"? whata joke. Both him and CP. BUT, they're both naaaasty.

Posted by: ToddSchreck | May 7, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame because lately Portis has been running his mouth better than he's been running the ball. Since he can't complete a coherent sentence what does that say for his on field ability.

Posted by: wiz313 | May 7, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Very well said LaVar. Very well said. I understand Clinton's feeling but he should have address those thoughts offline with LaVar.

Posted by: jjack1 | May 8, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

...I'm not buying the sentimental LaVar either. Both he and Portis are divas.

This is such a trivial issue!

Posted by: rickyroge | May 8, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, let's be adults here regarding the Arrington/Portis issue.
Just be thankful that Arrington is looooooong gone, and pray that Portis will soon follow!!!

Posted by: burro2 | May 8, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

WHO CARES!!!!!? Lavars sack totals vs Portis' rushing totals tell the only story. Lavar needs to stop criticizing players that have better careers than him, and then this "story" would'nt be wasting everyones time.

Posted by: wewbank1 | May 8, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

WHO CARES!!!!!? Lavars sack totals vs Portis' rushing totals tell the only story. Lavar needs to stop criticizing players that have better careers than him, and then this "story" would'nt be wasting everyones time.

Posted by: wewbank1 | May 8, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If Clinton Portis ever gets that chip off his shoulder, he'll be the fastest RB in football. He needs to grow up and man up.

Posted by: bfjam | May 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"Dudes that were raised by single mothers sometimes have a lot of vindictive be-otch like ways just like a woman. Portis stirs up a lot of mess just like a woman. Dude is a drama queen. I betcha T.O. was raised by a single mother or grandma too. That is where all this diva betchy stuff comes. I actually thought T.O. was gay he did so much be-otch stuff. Portis is the same way."

you right on the money with that statement and yes TO was raised by his grandma

Posted by: remarkable4real | May 10, 2010 3:45 AM | Report abuse

Sack Totals? Really? Was that Lavar's job? Why not compare apples and apples? Which one has more sacks?

You tool, this has squat to do with sacks, or even football.

I'll put it this way:

Which one of them seems to be obsessed with putting the other into diatribes?

OK. So, THAT'S the one that needs to start off by shutting up.

And I LOVED Sean Taylor as a player. Do I think he was a "great guy" off the field? HELL NO. I'm pretty sure he threw a beer at me on the road because he perceived I "cut him off," which I didn't. (who else would throw a full, unopened Heineken out of the top of his convertible BMW... in the WINTER?!) I'm pretty sure Taylor was a "diva" as many of you suggest Lavar and Portis are... and you're right.

But, what does it matter? I loved how Taylor tried to intimidate the competition, how he backed up his maniacal reputation. That said, I was very upset when he died. Not because I helped him stock the fridge in his BMW, but because of who he was inside. And who he was to our team. And what he left behind. And how senseless his killing was.

I suppose Portis would have a problem with me if I were to talk about how I miss him every time some bum catches a 20 yard pass, or Landry bounces off some skinny receiver. Oh well.

Portis needs to concentrate on getting better, because last year, he looked like he was ready for HIS own radio show.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 10, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

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