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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sports builds Vikings character

--posted by Tony Garcia on 10/12/2005

How does this affect the Vikings bid for a new stadium?
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Department is investigating allegations of criminal sexual conduct by Minnesota Vikings players after a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka turned into an out-of-control party that included lap dances and sexual acts, an attorney for the charter boat company said Tuesday.
A woman called Mound police Thursday night to report "possible prostitution, drugs and live sex acts" on the two boats. According to the police report, the woman said she and her brother's girlfriend served as hostesses on the boats.

Doyle said he didn't learn details of what allegedly happened until he met with six of the eight crewmembers Tuesday.

Doyle said about 90 people were on the two boats. According to a Vikings player who spoke on the condition of anonymity, about 15 Vikings players were on a charter as part of what he described as a "team event." The player said he was unaware of any sexual acts and that the cruise lasted less than 90 minutes. Doyle said he believed it to be a tradition for Vikings rookies and first-year players to take their teammates out.

OK, one of the people renting the boats was Fred Smoot. His response was:
Contacted Tuesday afternoon, Smoot said the allegations are exaggerated.

"It's slanderous," he said. "If (Doyle is) bringing my name up like this, I'm going to sue them. Other than that, I ain't got nothing else to say."

Asked if he was denying involvement in the alleged incidents, Smoot said, "It ain't even what they're talking about."
Alright, Freddy, what did happen?

It looks like the Vikes are closing the portcullis. 'We have no comment and we'll be providing our spin later' seems to be the road they are taking.
The Vikings released a statement Tuesday night, saying, "The organization has been made aware of the allegations involving our players, and we take these allegations very seriously. We are working diligently to gather as many facts as possible. At this time, we have no further comment."
The police have an investigation.
Sgt. Haans Vitek of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department said the investigation is ongoing.

"At this point, we're still trying to sort out who was there," Vitek said. "We understand there may be some Vikings personnel involved. We're not sure who they are and what they were doing."
It is Minnetonka...what are the odds of ANY charges coming about? They seem willing to protect the hometown team.

The boat company's lawyer describes some of what happened.
"They were out for a bit, and then the crew was serving drinks and hors d'oeuvres and stuff," he said. "I think the first thing they noticed was some of the women that were on board seemed to be either changing clothes or undressing. And then they went into a galley, and there were three of them in the nude that were changing clothes. That was followed by them coming out and some of them doing lap dances. … That's where it started, and then it just progressed to just bizarre."

[Company attorney] Doyle said the crew, in accordance with company policy, reported what was happening to the captain of each boat, who called the home base and were told to return.

"Now they're still 40 minutes out, and they're getting frightened," Doyle said. "Some of the Vikings are yelling at the waiters and waitresses … and wanting drinks faster and trying to take over parts of the bar, trying to pour their own drinks. … It's just really bizarre, bad, terrible behavior.

"Like I said, these kids are petrified. They're afraid for their own safety. There are people doing sexual acts with toys in the middle of the floor. They're on a boat here, having to walk around and serve a drink, afraid to stop serving drinks because they're afraid that people will hurt them. It's just really unacceptable what they did — the arrogance and the rudeness and all of those things combined.

"They get them into the dock and eventually get off the boat. We're talking about a scene with used condoms on the boats laying around, handy wipes used by the women laying around, drinks thrown and poured in places. It's amazing."
He was also on KFAN AM 1130 last night for an interview and what he described there was a little more graphic.

At this point is sounds like there were about 17 Vikings on the boats.

The NFL may potentially take action.
An NFL spokesman declined to comment on the allegations against Vikings players, but the league's personal conduct policy clearly states that league employees can be subject to discipline.

"Engaging in violent and/or criminal activity is unacceptable and constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League," the policy summary reads. "Such conduct alienates the fans on whom the success of the league depends and has negative and sometimes tragic consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator."

People charged or arrested with conduct prohibited by this policy will be "required to undergo a clinical evaluation and, if appropriate, additional counseling or treatment as directed."

Failure to comply with evaluation and counseling obligations could be considered conduct detrimental to the NFL, punishable by "fine or suspension at the discretion of the commissioner."

Why do I bring this up? Because one of the only real arguements of the taxpayer-funded stadium proponents is that "sports builds character" and the professional athletes are role models for the kids.

Ya still think so?

********** UPDATE **********
Just this via e-mail:
(To the theme song from Gilligan's Island)

Come sit right back and you'll hear a tale
A tale of fateful trip
That started from a small lake town
Aboard two tiny ships

The mates were a bunch of pole dancers
But the waitstaff was too pure
The Vikings team set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour

The action started getting hot
The dancers strutted their stuff
If not for the prudes in the fearless crew
There wouldn't have been such a huff

The boats turned around and went back home
The authorities came aboard
But fear not friends, 'cause all's not lost
The Vikings finally scored!


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