On Tuesday, Cincinnati provided left-back Jackson Carman with a possible start for the press during the Bengals’ open locker room session. This was a big issue, as Carmen did not speak to the media since Defector reported in April that he had allegedly raped a teenage girl while he was a player at Clemson. And yet, none of the NFL reporters around Carmen on Tuesday bothered to ask a single unrealistic question about the rape allegations. On Wednesday, Athletics Bengals defeated writers Jay Morrison and Paul Dehner, spending about 10 minutes of their podcast, Listen to that podcast GrolinTrying to explain that, in fact, it was reasonable and also not such a big deal that Morrison and the rest of the Bengalis ignored the elephant in the writers house.
Defector reported in April that a 17-year-old girl went to the Clemson Police Department in 2020 to report that Carmen had raped her. The incident, where she said Carmen took her to her Clemson student dormitory and “forced herself” on her, occurred in May 2018, when she was 15 and Carmen was 18.
“He won’t stop,” he told police in his first interview. “And I didn’t tell him. I was. Please don’t do it, and he did it anyway.”
In September 2020, the county solicitor decided not to charge Carmen. The Bengals have so far declined to comment on the defector’s reporting; In the draft in April, Bengals head coach Jack Taylor repeatedly refused to remedy the allegations, or the team refused to talk about Carmen and what he knew about the allegations before he was drafted. The group did not immediately return calls for comment from Kerman, who has not commented publicly on the allegations.
So it was strange when journalists, whose job it was to ask questions in the public interest, and especially if they suspected that they would not get a satisfactory answer, refused to do their job. Instead, reporters asked Carmen questions about how much he was “looking forward to going there and winning a Left Guard job” and if he would “taste” that challenge. His answer: A lot, and yes.
It is embarrassing that not a single reporter paid enough attention to the rape allegations and asked about it. Things became even more embarrassing when Morrison and Dehner went on their podcasts and provided torturous justifications for why they completely avoided the subject. It is a master class with complete confidence and in great length giving trivial and often contradictory excuses. If you want to listen, the conversation moves closer to the 33:40 mark.
It starts with Dehner that reporters didn’t even expect to see Carmen during the training camp, which he assumed was “going to be an open lock room at any moment that he would leave or hide, whatever the word.” He admits that people want to know why no one asked about the rape allegation, and then throws it to Morrison to break it up. Morrison said that since he first went to the locker room to talk to other players, it took him a while to realize that Carmen was talking to members of the media. She said she received scrams after the interview began and assumed that the rape allegations were thought to be limited by Tim Flex, or that someone else had already asked about it. He said:
It was a guess on my part, and we all know what happens when you guess, but since I arrived late, I assumed there was a ground rule that “Hey, he’ll just talk about football. He’s talking about something else.” Don’t say. ” Or other things were taken, addressed early and then they went to football. And so I just jumped into the football conversation and took it that way, and didn’t realize it wasn’t addressed at all. And it’s not. I know some people are saying that. , You know, you’re afraid to ask questions. It’s not so scary. What you don’t want to do is, there’s a subtlety where if one person talks and you get what you want, you don’t want to ask something that others It will stop for everyone. And especially if you miss the opening part – hate, when you are doing an interview and someone arrives late and they start asking questions for which the answer has already been asked. I was in trouble.
I am not an expert in locker room decor. I was in a pro locker room exactly once five years ago, when I received a certificate for a Mets game so I could ask players about the great dildo mystery of 2017. (But due to some dubious flak reasoning, I was only allowed in this game in the press box and not in the actual locker room, and so the only mate I could ask about the dildo was the then manager Terry Collins, who told me to laugh, and Then some unknown person gave me Death Glare.) So although I may not have extensive experience in the locker room, I have many close friends and colleagues who do. They tell me the above excuses are pretty weak!
The question is repeated all the time and it’s not a big deal. If a reporter really wants to make sure he gets the answer to an important question, he does it. And while the team’s PR Flack may try to set some rules for journalists, it is the job of journalists to ignore those rules. Furthermore, if a reporter became close and considerate to his fellow beat writers (and Morrison went out of his way to say he was a “very friendly” group), that reporter would probably join a friendly chat enough to put a little pressure on a colleague and ask quietly, “Hey, did anyone ask about the rape allegations?” If the answer is yes, reporter hook off. If it is not, he asks.
But then, Morrison arrives at his original argument. It’s actually all about that thing I just went to and not aboutHe said. How it really wasn’t a charge and how good Carmen is in football:
We’ve discussed this before, where there was no charge. He’s in the right to play football and he’s one of those — going back to the top five stories of the training camp, I mean, he’s at the top right there. It’s a battle of big positions, big questions, and I’m rolling with it. And it’s stuck in the football part and more kind of how the sausage is being made for the audience. […] But that’s because the story doesn’t address it at all, and it just focuses on football and tries to win the starting job.
At this point, Dehner jumps again:
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. I mean, that’s what you’ll get it. I mean, it’s a very simple thing they have, the position they’ve taken, which, you know, they’ve talked about taking with Jackson. There was nothing wrong with that. The truth is that PR was there – they were obviously ready to make this possible. There’s going to be a “no comment”. It’s not a matter of not wanting to ask. These questions need to be asked and I hate that they were not asked yesterday. And for all of us, it smells bad that it didn’t happen.
It’s unpleasant. If anyone could do something about it! In the lines above, Dehner stops at a simple rhetorical development: to emphasize in one breath that it is important to ask about rape allegations, completely dismissing the possibility that doing the right thing can have value in the afterlife. He added:
But you know, you’re right, Jay. Other than that the other part of it, you have done this guy in a big way as a relevant aspect of the football conversation. And, you know, the story of what he’s doing right now doesn’t make it a puff piece because it’s not a takedown.
Does anyone know what “takedown” is? Asking a preliminary question about a news item and whatever the answer may be, do not try to remove it as honestly and explicitly as possible.
This allegation is important. What Carmen says about it is important. Maybe, at some level, he even wants to talk about it. But Morrison’s story completely ignores them in describing Carmen’s competitive attitude and his “pleasure in making and eating pizza with toppings like cauliflower crust and spinach, low-fat mozzarella and plant-based sausage”. Riveting
It is a pity that this question has not been answered. You know, this or that has not been asked and we have not received “any comments” on what we are about to receive. I wish it was one more part. But in a big picture it would have been a small throwway line, you know, look at this team from a football perspective, you know, it’s still a very relevant story. I know, this is a sensitive situation. It’s hard.
Dehner admits that the allegation of rape in a big story about football is only going to be a “throwway line”. The horse is dead, but for some reason they continue to kill. Dehner says:
These are questions that he can’t “comment on” for the rest of his life. The Bengalis are not doing anything, the Bengalis are standing without any charge, they are not going to make any comment. You know, next time I’m there, I’ll make sure it’s been asked. But sometimes, as you say […] Sometimes it happens that way. It sucks. And I hate that it goes down that way but sometimes it does.
Why would this happen? Is it not completely under the control of journalists? The pressure to maintain access to beat writers so that they can do their work is real, and worthy of recognition. But if retaining these jobs means complete reliance on access to the locker room, or if that access is so weak that a potential second-year early guard can be cut off by talking about being accused of raping a 15-year-old child. In college, then what is the benefit? There are things that are frustratingly known that make people realize that what they have will always be there, even though they themselves have the agency to separate it.
At the end of the podcast discussion, Morrison emphasized that there would be plenty of other opportunities to talk to Carmen about the rape allegations and to dig deeper into what the Bengalis knew about it while drafting it.
“It’s an endless two open locker room,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. And by doing it in one session after another, you can get even more out of it when he has 567 recorders in his mouth. “
I hope Morrison and Dehner ask Carmen some important questions. And if they don’t, maybe one of the many other reporters who spoke with Carmen on Tuesday and submitted a remarkable story about his competition for the starting Left Guard spot.