UPDATED – Jason Pierre-Paul throws teammate Prince Amukamara into a cold tub (PIC & VIDEO)
UPDATE: The Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo spoke with Prince Amukamura about the incident after last night’s game.
Although Prince doesn’t understand exactly what he did to provoke this treatment from Pierre-Paul, he seems to be taking the incident in stride. Apparently, this is not the first time something like this has happened to Amukamara, who estimates he ended up in the cold tub as many as eight times last season. It turns out that this kind of thing has been a “running theme for the players, who have been trying to get the engaging, easy-going Amukamara to develop an edge.”
But while Amukamara certainly doesn’t enjoy being the whipping boy in the Giants locker room, he says he’s come to accept the abuse. And he’s also quick to point out that he understands that it’s all in fun, and there are no hard feelings:
“Yeah, um, well, I mean, I just don’t get it. I don’t understand the rules,” last year’s first-round pick told The Star-Ledger. “I mean, I’m not a rookie anymore, so I don’t know why I’m getting thrown in the tub. I know it’s all love.
“Yeah, no one ever likes it, especially when it’s you vs. eight and no one’s helping you. But it doesn’t mess up our team morale or anything.”
Meanwhile, ol’ man Coughlin promises to give all of the involved parties a thorough talking to … with Steve Weatherford likely to get the brunt of the discipline for posting the video to Twitter and bringing things outside of their house for all the world to see.
2nd UPDATE: Busted Coverage points out that this isn’t even the first time this month that a Giants player was hazed and had it posted to social media. Just last week, rookie WR Reuben Randle was taped up and thrown into the cold tub, with photo evidence posted by Corey Webster.
So you see, it’s clear that the cold tub is the Giants’ preferred tool for rookie hazing, and there doesn’t seem to be any real cause for concern here. Hopefully for Amukamara’s sake, one of these days, his teammates will stop considering him to be a rookie.
ORIGINAL POST (08.18.12 – 8:31PM PT)
We re-tweeted a link to this video, which was posted to Twitter by Giants punter Steve Weatherford last night … but after re-watching it a few more times, we decided it deserved its own post.
The clip – which we can only assume was shot by Weatherford on Friday – shows Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul carrying teammate CB Prince Amukamara over his shoulder down a hallway, and tossing him into a cold tub. At the beginning of the video, JPP is surrounded by teammates cheering “cold tub!”; Amukamara isn’t struggling, and it all seems like your standard, good-natured rookie hazing. But Amukamara isn’t a rookie. He’s a second-year player, and was the Giants first round draft pick in 2011. And as soon as he ends up in the water (which is generally kept around 40-50 degrees), and you can see that Prince clearly isn’t playing along, the video takes a somewhat darker turn.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
One teammate can be heard urging Amukamara to “stand up for yourself” as he exits the tub and silently walks away … looking a lot like a little kid who just got bullied at school. Meanwhile, Pierre-Paul celebrates his triumph, saying “He ain’t gonna do s#!t to me! … f@#k that n—-!” while getting high fives from his teammates. It definitely seems like this may have been the result of some sort of beef between the two players. And even though everyone (aside from Prince) looks to be having fun in the moment, you can’t help but feel sorry for Amukamara. And we’re not even talking about the potential risk for injury with a stunt like this.
WARNING: VIDEO INCLUDES NSFW LANGUAGE
(NOTE: The first version of this video was pulled down by YouTube for violating it’s bullying/harassment policies. This video could meet the same fate, in which case, watch the original version HERE)
Now, clearly we don’t know the full context of this incident. This could have been payback for something Prince did (or attempted to do) to JPP earlier, or it could just be the veterans on the defense “christening” a new starter. Playful pranks among teammates (including far worse than this) are certainly common practice in all sports at every level, and especially during pre-season training camp. And an argument could be made that ultimately, this type of hazing will help bring the players together as a unit.
But based on Amukamara’s reaction, it also feels awfully close to bullying. Watch the video for yourselves, and let us know what you think in the comments. Without more information or context, we’re not jumping to any conclusions either way. These are grown men we’re talking about here, and we’re just hoping that Weatherford wouldn’t have posted the video if everyone involved wasn’t okay with it.
Giants fans had better hope that everything is cool in the locker room, because after losing Terrell Thomas (again) for an undetermined time to a knee injury, the NY desperately needs Amukamara to step up and be a big part of their defensive effort this year.
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