Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE MONTH, the world-famous series in which we enumerate and mock idiots. Everything is bad and the internet was a mistake.
5. Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards’ effervescent personality and unfiltered verbosity have endeared him to NBA fans as much as his electric buckets. However, this offseason, we reached the limit of our appreciation for Edwards’ authenticity when the Minnesota Timberwolves guard got too comfortable on social media. In an Instagram video posted on Sept. 10, Edwards made derogatory comments about a group of men on a sidewalk that he perceived to be queer. In the now deleted video, Edwards stopped his car, zoomed in, and remarked “look at these queer-ass [n-words]. What has the world come to?”
Edwards was so eager to make critical remarks about the LGBTQ community, he assumed their sexual orientation without confirmation. Edwards apologists tried to let him off the hook by giving him credit for using queer instead of a gay slur, but ignored the context. We know microaggressions when we see them. Replace Anthony Edwards with Luka Dončić getting indignant about a group of Black men and the outrage is identical even if he doesn’t use “offensive language.”
To his credit, Edwards quickly apologized, but it’s difficult not to view him under a different prism. If that was what he felt comfortable broadcasting on his social media page, one can’t help but imagine he says worse in private. Edwards gave us a glimpse into his personality’s more intolerant, darker regions.
At 22, Edwards is already judging gay men and lamenting what the world has come to. Edwards’ annoyance with the mere existence of gay men in his presence is the type of homophobia that’s existed throughout Western civilization and come idiots at a time when gay rights are still under assault.
Fortunately, Edwards has the advantage of youth. His prefrontal cortex has space to grow from this if he chooses to learn from his idiotic comments. Or Edwards could exhibit an inability to evolve and disappoint his legion of fans while attracting a fringe following.
4. Kyrie Irving
Irving would love to have emeritus in his title even though there’s a strong possibility he misuses the word himself. The Nets guard fancies himself as some kind of social activist/educator, using a walking stick, bathing in patchouli oil, burning sage, and answering a routine question with as much condescension as possible because the reporters don’t understand the lunacy he offered.
The question was about incorporating Ben Simmons into the starting five. At no point did anyone say anything about Alex Jones or how much your beliefs cost you.
Well, they might have, but trying to understand Irving at this juncture is impossible. Not only did he re-share one of Jones’ conspiracy theories on Instagram earlier this month, but he also said his stance on the vaccine — which still has yet to be explained in a comprehensive manner — cost him a four-year, $100 million-plus extension.
This is what Irving said during the Nets’ media day:
“I gave up four years, 100-and-something million deciding to be unvaccinated and that was the decision. [Get this] contract, get vaccinated or be unvaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future, whether you’re going to be in this league, whether you’re going to be on this team, so I had to deal with that real-life circumstance of losing my job for this decision.”
Um, it wasn’t your stance, Kyrie, it was you who cost yourself an extension.
Irving went on to say he was given an “ultimatum” by the team, but GM Sean Marks refuted that claim, saying he wants people who are “reliable” and “accountable.” Well, about that, Irving hasn’t learned anything because he never faced any consequences other than not getting an extension. The season hasn’t even started, and he’s still trying to say it was anyone’s fault other than his own that he didn’t get paid. It would be great if an attorney could cross-examine Irving the way they are his conspiracy buddy Alex Jones. What are the odds he gives the befuddled face? (They gotta be pretty good, right?) A couple more deep dives down the InfoWars rabbit hole, and we’ll have to bestow Kyrie with the emeritus status he desires. How does “emeritus professor of idiocy” sound?
3. Nathaniel Hackett
Has there been a bigger blunder to start a head-coaching career than Broncos leader Nathaniel Hackett mismanaging the end of Denver’s season opener against Seattle? Hackett’s entire 14-season NFL tenure was as an offensive assistant or coordinator, including handling the play-calling duties with Jacksonville years ago. Coaching up Russell Wilson’s return to face the Seahawks, Hackett decided to put the game in his star quarterback’s hands to secure the victory! Just kidding. Hackett banked on a 64-yard field goal.
The Broncos had all three timeouts left after the two-minute warning and drove the ball to midfield. A few first downs should make it a chip shot for PK Brandon McManus. Instead, Hackett called four straight short passes, advancing the ball to only the Seattle 46-yard line. McManus is a great kicker, but relying on a gargantuan boot to win the game instead of Wilson is beyond comprehension, especially if you’re not playing in the air of Denver. Why bet on tying the distance for the second-longest field goal in NFL history instead of relying on the quarterback you just signed to a five-year $245-million deal with $165 million guaranteed?
McManus missed the kick, obviously, and Hackett admitted it was the wrong choice in a press conference. The baffling play continued into Week 2, where Denver’s fans audibly counted down the play clock as it got closer to zero for most of the fourth quarter. That’s quite the Mile High Welcome. The honeymoon period ended for Hackett before his first home game as head coach ended. How bad do you have to be to admit you need help with your team two games into your tenure? Enter Jerry Rosburg, who was in the Broncos’ coaching box for their 11-10 win over San Francisco. What a weird save for Hackett, as Denver’s schedule only gets harder.
2. Browns Fans
You’ve got to be a sick, depraved mofo to create jokes making fun of women who’ve been sexually assaulted, harassed, or anything within that realm. But fans in Cleveland have found a way to sink below the lowest level possible in defense of their new QB Deshaun Watson. Of course, every Browns fan can’t be blamed, but far too many have found far too much humor in the situation and have openly backed someone they’d initially deemed a bad guy.
When Cleveland traded for Watson in March, many Browns fans were unhappy about a guy leading their team with more than 20 civil lawsuits for sexual misconduct hanging in the balance. That sentiment seemed to be upheld by the fanbase through the summer until training camp when Watson made his first appearance in Browns gear.
Seemingly overnight, this sector of trolls within the fanbase popped up, and suddenly, more and more Browns fans were backing Watson on social media and all over Cleveland. Seeing how so many people value sports over human beings is disgusting. It always has been and always will be. We saw it with many NFL fans when Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem. Any Browns fan making light of the Watson situation and discarding the women affected by his actions is trash. There’s no other way to explain it.
1. Brett Favre
Brett Favre isn’t the first public figure who has been ascribed virtues for no reason other than that he is famous. He became the Green Bay Packers quarterback in 1992, a once-storied franchise that had made the playoffs only twice since their last Super Bowl victory during the 1967 season.
A good ole country boy led the franchise most deeply rooted in the origins of the NFL back to prominence. The Packers have missed the playoffs only eight times in thirty years since they traded a first-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Favre. His gunslinging style on the field was excused as a childlike enthusiasm as the quarterback for the smallest local market in the league became one of its biggest stars.
Well, now the jolly green giant is caught up in a federal scandal. Like seriously, he has been connected to a massive welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi. Not some “Welfare Queen” scandal, but officials with access to how this money is dispersed. Favre has allegedly used his gunslinger ways to try and get money from Mississippi to, of all things, fund athletic facilities at his alma mater — Southern Mississippi.
Welfare money, prison labor, whatever it took, Favre allegedly wanted it all used to drastically improve the Southern Mississippi athletic facilities. And folks, there is a paper trail. Favre’s texts both requested help from former Mississippi Director of Human Services John Davis, former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, and Nancy New — head of a non-profit who pleaded guilty to defrauding the state government — and that they delivered. Quite a few messages that could lead a reasonable person to believe that Favre saw a $70-plus million scheme in progress, so why shouldn’t one of the state’s most famous residents get a piece of the pie?
Favre denies that he knew where the money was coming from, and both he and Bryant deny any wrongdoing. However, Davis has pleaded guilty to federal and state charges of improper use of welfare money. Favre sent several texts discussing money that Davis had approved. Some recently released ones show that even Southern Mississippi was concerned about how Favre had secured the funding to build the new volleyball stadium.
It appears that Favre, along with several other people, showed no care that Mississippi is the poorest state in America, and instead wanted money that was designated for some type of help for those who needed it, for vanity projects. To earn the money that he has earned throughout his life by throwing footballs in Packer uniforms and Wrangler jeans, the fact that he would stoop this low as a middle-aged man should erase any great mythology left around him.