As one who knows a thing or two about publicity, DT Sen’Derrick Marks thinks the NFL had ulterior motives to hiring its first female official.
Jacksonville Jaguars DT Sen’Derrick Marks questioned the NFL’s reasoning behind hiring the first female full-time official in league history, and said publicity may have influenced the move.
In an interview with TMZ, Marks implied that the NFL was trying to monopolize the opportunity of having Sarah Thomas join the league as the first full-time female official similarly to the attempt the league made to make a major story out of Michael Sam, the first ever openly gay athlete to come into the NFL.
“It’s just like the Michael Sam situation – if he wasn’t gay, he would have gone undrafted,’” Marks said. “Instead, the league drafts him because I think they are trying to monopolize every aspect of the world. The same thing with a female ref. For the league, it’s great publicity. The NFL is all about monopolizing every opportunity.”
Though the comments could come across as sexist, A) Marks could be hitting the nail right on the head, B) Marks clarified that he wasn’t against having her in the league, merely the NFL’s timing in making the hire.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with it, especially as long as she knows what she’s doing,” Marks said.
Most notably, the decision comes in the aftermath of several players who were indicted for domestic violence in the past year getting signed by NFL teams. The Dallas Cowboys – a Super Bowl contender – recently signed controversial DE Greg Hardy, who was found not guilty in a jury trial of assaulting his ex-girlfriend after being found guilty of the crime months before by a judge. Several days later the Chicago Bears signed DE Ray McDonald, who was arrested on multiple charges of violence against various women in the past year-plus.