Donovan McNabb said that he was “taken aback” by allegations that he bullied and intimidated teammates.
Shawn Andrews, one of the quarterback’s offensive linemen with the Philadelphia Eagles, said in radio and magazine interviews that McNabb “was degrading” to him and “spread rumors” that he was gay. He also alleged that McNabb rolled his eyes when Andrews told the team that he was receiving treatment for depression.
In an interview with Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski, McNabb said, “That is ridiculous. I don’t know what comments you expect to get from me, but that is news to me and completely false. For me to bully anybody, that sounds unbelievable. …
“I don’t really understand why this would come about, one, and two, how this would even be an accusation. If there’s anything I can say, I was more than open to Shawn. I always tried to be open to all the guys. I’d invite them over to my house. I’d have holiday dinners or team functions, especially for the offense, every year. I’d buy all the guys gifts, if I made the Pro Bowl or not, for an appreciation. Shawn was one of the most talented offensive linemen we had. I was always happy to have him.”
Andrews described a locker room filled with cliques to Sync Weekly and said it felt “like I was in a living hell.”
“I could be sitting in the players’ lounge with a group, having some laughs, and he’d get his say in so the attention can shift,” Andrews said. “He was the type of person that had everything in the world he could want, but that still wasn’t enough. He wanted the attention on him. There was a whole lot of that behavior. He wasn’t just that way with me. I’m thinking, ‘Every day I strap on my shoulder pads and helmet, I’m here to protect you.’
“[McNabb] was a big part of it — he was a big part of my issues there. Bully is a strong word, but he was degrading to me and spread rumors. It’s bothered me that I haven’t really spoken about it.”
Andrews, who lives in Arkansas with his wife and son, told Sielski he stands by his comments. And McNabb said he was perplexed, although the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin investigation in Miami has everyone re-examining locker-room behavior past and present. Former teammates Bruian Westbrook, Jeff Garcia and Reno Mahe backed McNabb to Sielski.
“Does this seem kind of odd that all of a sudden my name would pop up in a situation like this?” McNabb said. “I haven’t played with Shawn in years. I haven’t said anything bad. It’s odd to me because again, my name is a lightning rod anytime it’s mentioned. If there were issues that were going on, wouldn’t that have come out?
“I don’t believe bullying answers anything. I’m really taken aback by this whole accusation.”