When NFL veterans finish their playing careers and embark on a job in the media, it’s generally in some booth with a microphone and lots of babble about field position and turnovers-will-kill-you. This is different: Stallworth is joining an inside-the-Beltway operation that covers a lot of politics, a lot of media and a lot of poverty.
The announcement kicked up some skepticism-cynicism in precisely the place you’d expect to find it:
When asked to elaborate on the hire, Grim responded, “He’s the real thing. But that’s the beauty of journalism, we do it out in public, you can judge for yourself what you think of his work. (Or, I suppose, you can judge beforehand. That’s fair by twitter rules.)” Vis-a-vis Stallworth’s qualifications, Grim said that “his LGBT work brought him to our attention and impressed us.” Stallworth has used his Twitter account as well as a Think Progress think piece to present passionate arguments supporting openly gay St. Louis Rams draftee Michael Sam and attacking old-line NFL homophobia. Even in his playing days, he spoke out on political topics even when his views contrasted with those of his coach.
Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter for striking and killing a 59-year-old man in Florida in 2009. “We obviously believe in redemption and second chances,” notes Grim.
UPDATE 12:12: A great deal of attention is getting channeled toward Stallworth’s having tweeted 9/11 truther sentiments:
We’re working on a separate post on this matter.