Giants safety Antrel Rolle clarifies comments on booing NFL players, soldiers
Updated at 6:28 p.m.
Antrel Rolle issued a statement through the Giants:
"I used a very poor, inappropriate example earlier today to demonstrate how seriously I take my job. 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 and puts himself at risk every day, feel about the comparison you made? Again, it was a very poor, very inappropriate choice of words."
Updated at 6:03 p.m.
Antrel Rolle clarified his comments in an interview with the Newark Star-Ledger, saying:
"I gave the analogy as far as when you have troops coming from Iraq they don't get booed. And you know, it's not even a comparable analogy," he said. "You cannot remotely compare what we do as opposed to what they do. They're fighting for our freedom, they're fighting for our country, We're out there playing a game. At the end of the day, it's a game. We get paid a lot of money, I understand that. But at the end of the day it's a game."
He said he was only pointing out that football players suffer severe injuries.
"But some people, I'm sure they're going to take that and run and say, 'Oh my God, Antrel is comparing himself to troops in Iraq.' No I'm not comparing myself to troops in Iraq," he said. "I couldn't [serve in the military]. I'm not brave enough to do it. I'll be the first one to admit it. I'm not brave enough to do that so I'll definitely tip my hat to those guys and those troopers that risk their lives and put their lives on the line in order for me to play the sport I love to play.
"It's not Antrel comparing himself. I'm just going to clear that up so you know that. It's not that at all."
Filed at 5:05 p.m.
Memo to Antrel Rolle: even though teams and athletes often do battle and must fight to win, sports is not warfare.
After criticizing New York Giants fans for booing the team on WFAN on Tuesday, the Giants' safety defended his comments today by comparing himself and the team to troops.
"They want to make it that guys paid this much money for a ticket, yeah, I understand that, I understand completely," Rolle said, via the New York Daily News. "We risk ourselves out there on the field each and every day, also. When soldiers come home from Iraq you don't boo them. I look at it the same way. I take my job seriously.
"I appreciate my fans, I appreciate them to the fullest, I am gonna continue to play for them as I always have. I am going to continue to be the best guy I could be for them. Nothing's gonna change. There's not a real big deal. They asked a question. I gave them an answer."
Certainly, Rolle plays a dangerous game, but, again, it isn't war. And athletes are compensated far more substantially than soldiers.
"Blame my mom, I am not a politically correct guy. Not my father, it's my mother's fault. You ask me a question I am going to give you an answer, an honest answer," Rolle said. "My coaches ask me, my girlfriend asks me, I am going to give them an honest answer, I don't sugarcoat anything."
| December 2, 2010; 5:11 PM ET
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