I would love to know who he’s talking about here:
“For a long time I just watched people. I interacted, but I just watched people,” Andrews says. “There were so many people that were Christian and going to church and saying, ‘Rookie, be seen and not heard,’ and then I see them in the back of the club doing some not-so-cool things being married. Everything under the sun — trying to tell you how to act. One guy out of the two who I thought I would fully respect during my time in Philadelphia, one of them let me down big time. Every time you see him, he’d have a Bible in his hand, and be coming from Bible study, but I know so many things about him that so many people would not be happy about.”
The first thought is God Squad member Brian Dawkins – because I’ve heard direct tales of his strip club fandom – but, during his interview with Missanelli, Andrews said Dawkins was the one guy on the team he respected.
The topic quickly turned to McNabb, of course:
And then there was McNabb. The No. 2 pick in the 1999 NFL draft and six-time Pro Bowler ruled the roost. Andrews says teammates and support staff went out of their way to suck up to the former Syracuse University two-sport star, and McNabb enjoyed being in the limelight and abiding by a different set of rules than the rest of the players.
“I could be sitting in the players’ lounge with a group, having some laughs, and he’d get his say in so the attention can shift,” Andrews says. “He was the type of person that had everything in the world he could want, but that still wasn’t enough. He wanted the attention on him. There was a whole lot of that behavior. He wasn’t just that way with me. I’m thinking, ‘Every day I strap on my shoulder pads and helmet, I’m here to protect you.’
“[McNabb] was a big part of it — he was a big part of my issues there. Bully is a strong word, but he was degrading to me and spread rumors. It’s bothered me that I haven’t really spoken about it.”
The rumors regarding Andrew’s sexual orientation spread around the Eagles’ facility and beyond. Andrews says he received a text message from his stylist one day. The woman worked for several teammates and players on other teams. She warned Andrews that he should be more careful when talking about his personal life with teammates. That was a red flag for Andews, since he rarely talked to his teammates.
If you connect those last two paragraphs, the inference is that McNabb was one of the guys spreading rumors that Andrews was gay, which, if true, makes Andrews’ rehashing of these tales somewhat more understandable. Andrews is married with a son.
Shawn and his brother Stacy were teammates on the Eagles for a brief period of time in 2009. At that point, the gay rumors still hadn’t subsided:
“Some guys, they just find one thing and run with it,” his brother Stacy Andrews says. “Us having a little style and swag, they just ran with that. Big guys don’t usually wear Vans shoes, but we do. They made some comments and snickered about that. They may not like it that you dress a little different.”
Stacy says Andrews told him of the “horror stories” before he joined his younger brother in Philadelphia. Stacy says he never heard any of the players directly make comments regarding his brothers’ sexual orientation, but he saw how the team “cliqued up” and caught guys looking at the brothers as they walked by different lunch tables.
“It wasn’t like any locker room I had seen in Cincinnati, Seattle or New York [Giants]. Those locker rooms were more together. There was a lot of egos in Philly, and you had four or five groups together. I saw that since day one.”
Andrews says the questioning and rumors became so great among teammates that he waited until everyone was out of the shower before he entered the shower, so as to not raise suspicion that he was looking at others. Either that, or he raced to a shower in the corner where he could face the wall and not be accused of peeping.
“If you want to question some one, I’d see guys in the shower talking face to face,” Andrews says. “If you want to go further, I’ve even seen a teammate piss on another teammate. They think it’s funny. They are having a conversation and the whole time one guy is peeing on him and the other doesn’t even know. This is the stuff that goes on, and I am the one having to defend myself. There were a lot of immature dudes on the team.”
There’s much more. Andrews wanted to flip his car to kill himself in 2007. Read the whole thing here.
I’m still skeptical of Andrews speaking out, now. Teammates starting rumors about him being gay is crossing the line, big-time. But a lot of this stuff – outing guys for being less than holy, pointing the finger directly at McNabb– the one attention-getting name in the group – is the sort of thing that you don’t run to the media about. Sports locker rooms, at any level, are a weird place. I saw some strange shit in high school. I imagine it only gets worse in college and the pros. There are always going to be cliques and cool people and weird people in any cross-section of humanity, whether it’s a locker room, workplace or school. That doesn’t excuse nasty behavior, but, since the world is populated by humans, it’s bound to occur. Everywhere. Andrews is a grown man, and there are other ways to handle this sort of thing than by telling the whole world about it… especially four years after the fact.
Still, it sounds like Andrews’ teammates were real assholes, which is pretty disappointing.