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Giants insist they weren’t hazing Amukamara
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - While they understand the public’s concern over what might be perceived as an apparent hazing incident involving Prince Amukamara, several New York Giants insist that throwing the second-year cornerback into a tub of ice water was a football tradition and not bullying.
Neither would say what triggered the obscenity-laced incident.
Most players on the Super Bowl champions (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) seemed more concerned that punter Steve Weatherford actually posted the video, and that it might give youngsters the idea that bullying and hazing are OK.
“First of all, absolutely none of us condone bullying,” defensive captain Justin Tuck said. “We’ve heard that. So just go ahead and put it out there. None of us condone bullying. And you don’t want to put anybody in a situation where they can get hurt. With that said, we just got to do a better job of being conscious of how that looks and how people can perceive it.”
Coach Tom Coughlin said after Monday’s practice that he has now outlawed any locker room antics that could lead to injury and warned players about their language. He once again lectured the team about the use of social media and talked to all the players involved, except Pierre-Paul, who he plans to address soon.
Coughlin refused to say whether any of the players were fined.
Weatherford posted the video of the recent training camp incident on Saturday night. He took it down Sunday and apologized Monday to teammates and fans.
The video shows Pierre-Paul carrying Amukamara over his shoulder in the Giants‘ locker room at the University at Albany and seemingly slamming him into a tub of ice water. Amukamara gets out quickly, but the look on his face seems to indicate he is upset.
Amukamara, who missed the first half of last season with a broken foot, acknowledged he was lucky that he wasn’t hurt, but he was adamant that he was not the victim of hazing. He said Pierre-Paul did not owe him an apology
“I definitely think it is has (created) a lot of distractions to our team and doesn’t give the professional football league, the NFL, a good look,” said Amukamara, who said other players were thrown in the tub at training camp.
“Coming into the NFL, we are taught to protect the shield, and I definitely don’t think that it is doing that. It is definitely a situation that we are not trying to brush under the rug. We are trying to address it, and it was just a lot of horseplay that was taken too far.”
While he denied being embarrassed by the videotape, Pierre-Paul indicated his days of throwing players into tubs might be over.
“I feel like me and Prince, we’re cool,” said the 23-year-old Pierre-Paul, who had a career-best 16 1/2 sacks last season. “All the guys around here are cool. We are all like family to each other. It is something that we were having fun and games and the media took out of proportion.”
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