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Trashing Tuna

Magazine quotes Shockey using gay slur about Parcells

Posted: Friday August 08, 2003 11:31 AM
Updated: Friday August 08, 2003 7:08 PM
  Jeremy Shockey Jeremy Shockey made inflammatory remarks about gays on the Howard Stern radio show in September 2002. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Jeremy Shockey popped off about gays on Howard Stern's radio show, and he makes opponents' blood boil with his on-field antics. He once made an obscene gesture and hit children in the stands with a cup of ice -- in the same game.

Now, the New York Giants' outspoken tight end is in trouble again, this time because he reportedly called Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells a "homo."

Shockey's remark appears in next week's New York magazine, which interviewed the All-Pro last month. Shockey, however, now insists someone else made the remark.

Giants head coach Jim Fassel said Friday that Shockey would not be fined.

Shockey takes on Parcells for comments he was told the former Giants head coach made about him on TV last season.

"Let's see how much Parcells wins this year," Shockey is quoted as saying. "I'll make him pay when we play them. The homo."

Shockey didn't want to comment "on something that's just not true," he told the Daily News of New York after the Giants lost an exhibition game in Foxboro, Mass., on Thursday night.

"I'm 100 percent sure I didn't say that," he added, contending he thinks the writer got the comment mixed up from something the player's friend might have called Parcells.

New York magazine spokeswoman Serena Torrey said Friday the magazine stands by the story and the reporting by writer Chris Smith.

Smith has worked for the magazine for 15 years, writing on a range of subjects. The interview with Shockey was taped, Torrey said.

"It's obvious that if Jeremy had it to do over again, he would use a different set of words than he used at the time so the writer would not have interpreted his comments the way he did," Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon told The Associated Press. "Jeremy is learning that there is no such thing as a throwaway line or throwaway word."

Hanlon said Shockey would not be available for comment Friday. The NFL declined comment.

Parcells did not hold his daily news conference Friday because the Cowboys left for Arizona after practice. Team spokesman Rich Dalrymple said Parcells would not comment about Shockey, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wouldn't comment about a player on another team.

Fassel said he spoke briefly to Shockey about the comments after Thursday's game against New England, and the tight end insisted he was quoting friends. The coach planned to meet with Shockey and advise the second-year player on handling interviews.

"I have to continue to counsel him," Fassel said. "Will there be a slip-up again? Probably. But he's too good of a guy to have himself portrayed this way.

"He doesn't have a bone in his body that wants to disrespect somebody. He's just being who he is, all the time, and he's got to learn how to handle questions from the media without going over the line."

Shockey's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the player does not recall using the word.

"That particular term, if he did use it, was purely in jest with some of his friends," Rosenhaus said. "I think the writer made an innocent mistake.

"In no way, shape or form does he feel this way about Coach Parcells."

Esera Tuaolo, a former NFL player who publicly acknowledged his homosexuality last year, said such comments are a part of life in the locker room. The former defensive tackle played for Green Bay, Atlanta, Minnesota, Jacksonville and Carolina in a nine-year NFL career.

"To the players and the coaches, it's no big deal for them, but for someone like me, it is a big deal," Tuaolo told the AP. "That's one of the things we need to change. It's a spoken language we need to change."

Cathy Renna, a spokeswoman of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said: "It's a reflection that it's still OK to use that language in sports. He's done it before. In some ways, it's no surprise to us."

In the magazine article, Shockey is quoted as saying, "The only guy who was hating me was Parcells. I never watch TV. But my buddies were like, 'Why does Bill Parcells hate you so much? He's talking about, 'I never seen a player get so much hype off of doing nothing.

"Parcells is not my kinda guy. He says he quits then he wants to come back and coach. Do something! Stay in commentary or stay in football or get the hell out of everybody's life."

The Giants host the Cowboys on Sept. 15, a Monday night game in the second week of the season.

Shockey caught 74 passes for 894 yards in his rookie year, becoming an immediate star. He drew attention off the field as well.

There was a training camp fight with linebacker Brandon Short and inflammatory remarks about gays on the Stern's radio show in September.

He's done nothing heading into his second season to change the perception that he is one of the NFL's bad boys. Besides the New York magazine article, he discusses his sexual fantasies in the upcoming issue of Maxim.

During the Giants' playoff loss to San Francisco, Shockey made an obscene gesture and threw a cup of ice over his shoulder that struck some youngsters in the stands behind the Giants' bench. The NFL fined him $10,000.

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