What does Mushnick say about the new Raiders HC?
Mushnick provides two – and only two reasons – why Pierce’s promotion is an “embarrassment”. Both occurred 15 years ago. Both are not relevant to his promotion with the Raiders.
In 2008, during Super Bowl week, Pierce left his two dogs at home unattended. He pleaded guilty and paid a fine.
Later that year, during the infamous Plaxico Burress self-inflicted gunshot wound, Pierce drove Burress to hospital, left him there and drove off with the gun. He was never indicted, but it was an incident Pierce said, “There [are] a lot of lessons I learned from this. I take them to heart and I take them seriously…I thought I acted very reasonably and responsibly and instinctively to a teammate that was in need, and that was my concern that night, to get him help.” His teammate Osi Umenyiora also commented, "I think he did what any one of us would have done.”
Both events are ill-advised. There is no denying that poor choices were made. And there’s certainly no place in this world for animal cruelty. But I’m not holding these two events against the man for the rest of his life. I’d like to think he learned from each event and that neither would ever reoccur.
15 years is a long time. People grow. Perhaps Mushnick hasn’t grown, which is why he can’t fathom Pierce’s maturation. A couple incidents from 15 years ago doesn’t define someone.
Again, not to defend the choices made by the then 29-year-old Pierce, but I think understanding where someone comes from is always important. Pierce grew up in Compton, California – home to one of the highest crime rates in America.
To go from an upbringing in that culture, and overcome those adversities in his teens, to then getting $26 million thrown at him in his 20s – that is a massive life change, which helps better understand why the two events might’ve occurred for someone in his shoes.
Regardless, what happened 15 years ago as a player is completely unrelated to the coaching career that has blossomed since then.
It’s quite a stretch to attempt connecting those two events to his current status as interim head coach.
But while Mushnick is stuck in the 2000s, he conveniently failed to mention that during these years Antonio Pierce was one of the best players in the entire league at giving back to the community.