On Sunday, a former NFL All-Pro defensive tackle issued a post on Instagram in which he showed an aerial view of the White House captioned with instructions for Iran to target it.
Along with the photo of the White House and the surrounding area in Washington D.C., Albert Haynesworth wrote, “@Iran if you are going to attack the United States well here is a picture for you! #justtryingtohelp us folks that aren’t starting wars,” as The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The surrounding areas were labeled, “Not affiliated.”
As the News Sentinel reported, “A user named Atlas Hampton commented, ‘I thought he was better than this…… But he is acting just like the rest! But when he was really sick and everyone supported him what if we all wished he was dead he wouldn’t like it but he’s saying (expletive) it kill them all in the Whitehouse!’”
In October 2006, Haynesworth, who played in the NFL from 2002 through 2011, was suspended for five games without pay by the NFL after an incident in which he attempted to stomp on the head of the Dallas Cowboys’ center Andre Gurode, missed, then stomped again, opening a wound on Gurode’s head near his right eye. Gurode later needed 30 stitches to close the wound. There were allegations that Haynesworth had removed Gurode’s helmet when he fell to the ground prior to Haynesworth stomping on him.
After the game, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher apologized to Cowboys coach Bill Parcells. Haynesworth himself admitted, “What I did out there was disgusting. It doesn’t matter what the league does to me. The way I feel right now, you just can’t describe it.”
ESPN’s Mark Schlereth, who played in the NFL for 12 years, stated Haynesworth should have ben suspended for the season. He said:
When I first saw the replay of what Albert Haynesworth did I just thought it was a horrific act perpetuated by a guy who has no business playing in the NFL. Football is a vicious game and most guys on the field are out there trying to knock someone out of the game to help their team. But those hits are within the realm of the game and before the whistle blows. I played for six years on an offensive line that was known for cut blocking and doing things that were right on the edge of being legal in the NFL, but not once did we ever cross the line and try to do anything like what Haynesworth did. A football career is fleeting and at any point it can end either on the field or off the field. When you’re out there, you don’t take chances with someone else’s career after the whistle. That’s why he should have been suspended for the rest of the year.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Beas running back Merrill Hoge added:
When I saw the play, I was shocked that anybody would deliberately do that. Albert Haynesworth missed the first time he tried to step on Andre Gurode’s head — and tried again! There’s no excuse for that behavior and he should be heavily fined and suspended. Yesterday, Haynesworth confirmed every suspicion that teams had about his character coming out of the University of Tennessee. He should have been suspended for the year with no pay and there should be a stipulation within the suspension that he’s gone for good if he ever does anything like it again.
ESPN noted past behavior of Haynesworth, writing, “As a sophomore at Tennessee, he fought with a teammate and left practice, returning with a long pole looking for tackle Will Ofenheusle before coach Phillip Fulmer stopped him. He was suspended for a half of a game. During 2003 Titans training camp, Haynesworth kicked center Justin Hartwig, now with Carolina. Charges for a road rage incident earlier this year were dismissed.”