On Sunday evening, New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones showed up at a police station acting distressed and confused, asking for help. The police took him to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released. Both Jones and the cops say he had a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana, and Jones was working out at the Pats’ facility early the next morning. A strange, but ultimately brief and meaningless story, right?
Not if the ESPN talking heads have anything to do with it. Cris Carter was on Mike & Mike Friday morning, when he was asked about the incident, and then he started to talk some nonsense:
Carter, citing exactly zero sources but his own imagination, claimed that Jones actually “tripped out” from “marijuana laced with PCP.” It’s the sort of nonsense that should be reserved for sports talk radio call-ins, but it’s coming from a (we assume) well-paid analyst on the network. We can’t sit here and say that it’s 100 percent false, but we can say that it’s wild speculation without any information coming from a platform that, to many, still lends legitimacy. It’s a stupid thing to do, and needlessly casts aspersions on Jones’ character.
It wouldn’t shock us in the least if the police in the town where the Patriots play were inclined to help the Patriots. We’ve seen athletes get preferential treatment from local law enforcement enough times. Yet when the police and Jones both say the same thing (and the police say unequivocally that Jones committed no crime), we have no choice but to believe them unless something credible contradicts the story. Until then, it’s the responsibility of anyone with a platform to refrain from spreading damaging rumors about people just because it might get the platform more attention. Cris Carter should be ashamed.