In the midst of the NFL offseason, the New England Patriots seem to be making the most noise after their “Deflategate” fiasco.
But another storyline that should be generating some buzz for even worse reasons, is the Seahawks drafting Frank Clark in the second round of the NFL draft. Clark could be a great defensive end in the NFL. He has the size, speed and power to become a menacing pass rusher for the Hawks.
Unfortunately that's not what matters here at all.
Clark started his collegiate career at the University of Michigan. His career was off to a promising start and he looked like he could have been a first round pick at times because of his freakish athleticism. On the field, Clark was exceeding expectations. However, off the field he was accused of and arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in a hotel room in Ohio on Nov. 16, 2014.
Clark was not charged, but he was kicked off the Michigan football team and his future in the NFL looked like it was going to take a tumble.
It did not take much of a tumble, as the Seahawks selected him in the second round. Talent-wise this wasn't a bad pick. As for ethical standards however, this was an awful decision.
According to Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times, the Seahawks did not interview Clark’s girlfriend or the hotel manager who was allegedly threatened by Clark. The Seahawks also never talked to a woman who was in the next room and said she could hear Clark’s girlfriend crying for help.
It's not clear who the Seahawks talked to about the incident, but by not talking to Clark’s girlfriend, the hotel manager or the woman in the adjoining room, the Seahawks dropped the ball.
John Schneider and Pete Carroll have always seemed like moral and ethical men. It's hard not to trust them, because of how much success they have had on and off the field. But this leaves a knot in stomachs around the country because of how large of a problem domestic violence is.
Last season, fans had to witness Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice hit his then fiancé and current wife in an elevator, dragging her by her hair down the hallway. Then Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson was accused of abusing his son by leaving scars along his legs.
These situations were awful and put into the spotlight because something has to be done regarding domestic violence in the NFL.
The Seahawks not interviewing Clark’s girlfriend and other key people involved in the situation is an ominous sign that the Seahawks may have screwed up in big time fashion.
By drafting Clark and not doing a thorough investigation, the Seahawks are setting a bad precedent for themselves, their fans and NFL fans in general.
If more details come to light about what actually happened in that hotel room and the details aren't in favor of Clark, the Seahawks will have a lot of explaining to do. Schneider has said before that he would not draft a player who has ever hit a woman, and he said he believes Clark did not hit her in an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle.
If he is wrong it will be tough to explain.
Schneider and Carroll have to be transparent about what made them think it was an option to draft a player who had allegedly violently hit a woman. They have to let the fans of the NFL and even non-fans know why they thought it was all right to take a chance on someone like this.