(ALLEN PARK) - Is this the straw that breaks the camel's back? While it is
not likely that it will lead to his firing, Lions president and GM Matt Millen
is once again on the hot seat for controversial remarks directed at former Lions
receiver Johnnie Morton.
Morton was quoted by respected Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock as directing a slew of demeaning comments at former receiver Johnnie Morton.
Several members of the Kansas City media relations staff including Patrick
Herb and former WXYT reporter Rhonda Moss, who I worked with for several years
at the Detroit area radio station, heard Millen's comments. The league office
has also been notified of Millen's remarks.
Millen attempted to explain himself by saying he simply wanted to say "Hi" to Morton. Morton wanted no part of the GM who released him after just a few days earlier naming him the team MVP.
Morton tried to ignore Millen but Millen continued to call out to him. Morton responded by telling Millen to "Kiss my a&&." The remark incensed Millen who then uttered his disgusting comment.
"What he said is demeaning and bigoted, " said Morton. "Jeremy Shockey got in trouble for saying it about a coach, and now we have a president of a team making statements like that. It's totally unacceptable. I have gay friends," he continued, "and I don't even joke around with them like that."
When asked about the remark, Millen admitted it and issued a tepid apology. "I apologize if I offended anyone. It certainly was not meant to do anything other than express my frustration and disappointment."
The remark is just the latest in a series of unprofessional comments and actions by Millen who has shown that he is out of place as President of an NFL franchise. Millen continues to embarrass the Ford family and the Detroit Lions franchise with his "open mouth, insert foot" demeanor.
Millen became the only NFL executive to be fined for failing to follow the NFL's minority interviewing guidelines and was embroiled in controversy for calling a player, believed to be Lions receiver Scotty Anderson, a "devout coward", that led to a separation between Millen and then head coach Marty Mornhinweg who defended his players and eventually was fired by Millen.
The NFL will no doubt fine Millen for his latest remarks. It will be interesting to see if Lions vice-chairman Bill Ford, Jr. takes action against Millen. The Ford Motor Company, of which Ford, Jr. is the chairman, has a zero-tolerance policy regarding diversity in the workplace.