Mike Francesa questions the “optics” surrounding the shooting incident involving New York Giants draftee Corey Ballentine.
New York sports radio host Mike Francesa has always been known to never shy away from the tough topics on all things sports. However, he may have gone a little too far recently.
Francesa had some words regarding one of the latest situations involving the New York Giants.
On Saturday, Big Blue selected Washburn University cornerback Corey Ballentine in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. Saturday night, Ballentine was involved in a shooting that left his teammate dead and himself wounded. Ballentine will reportedly recover and will be ready to go for the Giants’ upcoming minicamp on Saturday.
On Monday, Francesa questioned the optics surrounding the Giants and Dave Gettleman’s message of going out of their way to select character guys in the NFL Draft, pointing to the Ballentine incident as poor optics.
“Listen, you can have an off-field incident with any draft pick any time,” Francesa said on his daily simulcasted show. “But when you finish your draft and stress how you went out of your way to take the right kind of guys, guys that you want on the team, guys that are going to be great character guys and you stress that as strongly as the Giants did, it looks pretty bad when one of them gets shot on a Saturday night. It does not look good. It’s just more of the same for the Giants, who just can’t get out of their own way, no matter what they say.”
Francesa, later on, continued to say that “It’s sad to see the Giants become a laughingstock around the league.”
Critics will point to the harshness of the take, relating the incident to possible questions surrounding character.
Ballentine has since posted a tribute to his fallen former teammate, Dwane Simmons.
God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. I love you forever. Thank you for being a true friend who uplifted me, corrected me when i was in the wrong, and accepted my flaws. Thank you for being a brother to me. Thank you for letting me experience your life💛 pic.twitter.com/SfqX9v6qgY
— Corey Ballentine🇯🇲 (@cbxiii__) April 29, 2019
At this moment, nobody knows what transpired leading up to the incident. According to Simmons’s family, the two Washburn products attended to a car asking questions only to have gunfire shot from within the vehicle moments later.
“Simmons’ family said they learned from police that the two young men were about to leave the party with other football players when a vehicle pulled up and the people inside asked them a question.
“Suddenly, someone inside the vehicle opened fire as it circled back,” Navarro Simmons said.
There is currently very little information on the suspects, per KSNT.com.
As for Mike Francesa, connecting “optics” or “character” to a situation that is anything but clear is a serious issue in the eyes of many.