|Friday, August 8
Updated: August 9, 9:59 AM ET
Shockey calls Parcells 'homo' in magazine interview
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- Jeremy Shockey is quoted in a magazine as calling Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells a "homo,'' but the outspoken Giants tight end insists someone else made the remark.
In next week's New York magazine, Shockey criticizes Parcells for comments he was told the coach made about him on TV and concludes by saying: "Let's see how much Parcells wins this year. I'll make him pay when we play them. The homo.''
"I really don't want to comment on something that's just not true,'' Shockey told the Daily News of New York after the Giants lost an exhibition game in Foxboro, Mass., Thursday night.
"I'm 100 percent sure I didn't say that. ... I think he (the writer) got it mixed up from something my friend might have called him (Parcells).''
New York magazine spokeswoman Serena Torrey said Friday the magazine stands by the story and the reporting by writer Chris Smith.
"That's just Jeremy, and that's just his personality" Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent told ESPN on Friday from training camp. "I don't think he means anything by it disrespectfully. He's a young guy, still learning the ropes. I'm sure his teammates and coaches are telling him that that puts more pressure on the people around him, not just himself.
"At the end of the day. As long as you can back up what you're saying, your players and coaches don't mind."
Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon told The Associated Press on Friday that Shockey was quoting a friend who was voicing criticism of Parcells. Hanlon said Shockey would not be available for comment Friday.
"Jeremy is adamant about the fact that he did not say what he's portrayed as having said,'' Hanlon 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. Jeremy is learning that there is no such thing as a throwaway line or throwaway word.''
Giants coach Jim Fassel said Friday that Shockey would not be fined.
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.
But Thursday night, Parcells, speaking from the Cowboys' training camp in San Antonio, told the New York Daily News, "I have no idea what any of this is about."
Parcells' close friend, Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight, told Sporting News Radio that Shockey's comments were "garbage."
"You can't even consider a reaction to some garbage like that," Knight said. "That is just beyond anything you need to recognize.
"Let me simply say this: I am all for waiting to see how many games the Cowboys win this year. I think that is great, because I think that we will see what a difference Parcells makes in a team where he is involved. I think that will be a great answer to anybody's question. To even discuss that guy (Shockey)...
"Was that the same team (Shockey's Giants) that had a 28-7 lead over the 49ers last year and then got beat? ... I'm not sure that has ever happened to Parcells. What else do you want to talk about?"
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 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.''
Smith has worked for the magazine for 15 years, writing on a range of subjects. The interview with Shockey was last month, and Torrey said Smith taped it.
Shockey "went on at great length ... how he's (Parcells) a publicity hound, how Shockey's gonna make him pay when they play,'' Smith told the Daily News. "He ended the monologue by calling him 'the homo.' It's 100 percent accurate.''
The Cowboys and Giants meet Sept. 15, a Monday night game in the second week of the season.
Shockey, his long blond hair flowing from his helmet, 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 Howard Stern radio show in September.
" ... if I knew there was a gay guy on my college football team, I probably wouldn't, you know, stand for it," Shockey said in that interview. "You know, I think, you know, they're going to be in the shower with us and stuff, so I don't think that's gonna work."
Shockey also discusses his sexual fantasies in the upcoming issue of Maxim magazine.
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. He was fined $10,000 by the NFL.
"It was a mishap on my part,'' he said. "I didn't mean to hit a kid.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.