Bo Scarbrough is the second string running back for the University of Alabama. Or maybe third string. During the regular season, he had the second most carries of any Crimson Tide running back, but last night he had the third most (four carries in all).
To be fair, the second or even third string running back at Alabama would probably vie for all-conference honors at many a school. Moreover, Scarbrough in an NFL prospect. I think he’s expected to be selected somewhere between the third and fifth rounds of the upcoming draft.
Last night, Alabama took on (and eventually defeated) the University of Georgia for the college football championship. President Trummp attended.
Before the kickoff, Scarbrough appeared to shout “F**k Trump” as his team passed through the tunnel on its way to the field. The video of this went viral.
Scarbrough has denied saying anything about Trump. He claims he yelled “F**k Georgia,” instead. But that’s not how it sounds (video below).
I wonder this incident will affect Scarbrough’s draft status. A portion of every team’s fan base probably will not want this guy on the team they root for, and that’s especially true in certain markets. Moreover, a player who would yell such a thing (if that’s what Scarbrough yelled) is likely to embarrass his team in the future. Thus, unless Scarbrough is viewed as a potential star, teams may pass on him.
How does Scarbrough’s shout compare with the protests of players who take a knee while the National Anthem is played? Scarbrough’s attack wasn’t directed at his country, just its president. I have written that “giving the presidential motorcade the finger is as American as apple pie.”
But Scarbrough’s utterance differs from the gesture I was writing about. The woman who flipped off Trump’s motorcade was riding her bike on a lonely road in Virginia. She wasn’t representing an employer or a team at the time, and had no reason to believe her gesture would be seen by a national audience.
Furthermore, the gesture appears to have been entirely spontaneous.
Scarbrough’s shout was delivered while he was representing his team and school in one of the biggest sporting events of the year — an event that garnered wall-to-wall media coverage. Nor is it clear that the shout was spontaneous. It may have been premeditated.
In addition, the shout wasn’t part of a serious protest. The players who kneel before the National Anthem say they do it solemnly to protest what they believe is systemic police brutality. Scarbrough wasn’t protesting in any meaningful sense. He was simply attacking the U.S president as crudely as he could.
Scarbrough doesn’t claim he was protesting. Instead, he denies he said anything about Trump. If NFL teams believe him, there is no concern. If they don’t, they may conclude he’s a lout and a liar.