Thoughts on Q & A Session with Sean Pamphilon

So, I posted this as a comment to my fanshots entry, but then I thought, you know, I've never posted here before, and I spent a good amount of forming my rant, so I thought I'd make it a bit more public and accessible. So here it is (again):

Original article:

Granted, It’s hard to be objective about these things when you grew up in the Greater New Orleans area (North Shore, baby), but…

I have a hard time buying that Pamphilon did this for the greater good of humanity and morality that he gushes about in this write up. He seems to think that his actions would change the world:

I was told that if I was going to do something this radical in an effort to create dialogue and promote cultural change, I had to stand behind it. I saw the merit in that and for weeks tried to do so.

While, he insists that he didn’t do this for self-promotion, he clearly has an inflated sense of self-righteousness if he believes that his actions would be so revolutionizing. If he had merely stated that his motives were in the interest of player safety—that he wanted to expose the darker side of NFL culture—and left it at that, I would have bitten my tongue and moved along. As a Saint’s fan, I would have disappointed that he chose to make an example out of my team, but it’s hard to argue with Greg Williams’s words. I don’t think Ol’ Greg should be exhonorated for what he did and said…

But is that really Pamphilon’s motive? He says:

What people keep ignoring is that I am not a “whistleblower.” There have been recent reports that identify the man who allegedly did this, speculating that he was a former assistant coach with the Saints. I would not have released this audio if the story had not already broken. I would have felt like I betrayed a trust, the very trust people are now condemning me for.

So, it’s okay to ignore your moral imperative if no one else has blown the whistle first? It’s okay to simply hop on the moral bandwagon after someone else has gotten their hands dirty before you? If no one would have stepped forward, he admits, he “would not have released this audio.”

Sounds pretty self-promoting to me.

He portrays this as a matter of trust and betrayal. He believes that some great, metaphysical moral imperative allowed him to betray the trust of Gleason, who is struggling enough right now without this P.R. nightmare looming over him. Isn’t it ethical to value your relationships? Isn’t it also ethical to acknowledge that timing of a message is just as important as a message. His job was held in place by a trust formed with his subjects (the Gleason family). As a former documentary producer/director, I can tell you that there is honor in respecting the boundaries of your subjects. It’s rather akin to lawyer confidentiality. Sure, there may have been a right time to release the footage at some point (if his motives were, indeed, to raise awareness of player safety), but was that right time NOW? Are these GOOD motives? If evidence is obtained incorrectly in a court of law—no matter how damning—it is considered null and void. Why? Because ethical matters are so rarely cut and dry. If courts opened up the floodgates and allowed any evidence to roll through the justice system, could you imagine the corruption? Could you imagine how easily that policy could be taken advantage of? Could you imagine the whole host of new ETHICAL questions that would arise? As far as I’m concerned, he’s not to be trusted as a film-maker again. I hope that was worth the moral imperative.

Finally, I’m amused that he says:

If I wanted to get better known for anything other than my work, I would have released footage of Ricky Williams smoking weed during one of the times we fell out.

If he was so torn about protecting players’ trust, and so insistent that he would not simply throw a player under the bus, I find it ironic that in the very example he uses to strengthen his argument, he throws Ricky Williams under the bus. Not that WIlliams’s pot-smoking is any new revelation, but, seriously, come on…

So maybe I'm not exactly calling for Pamphilon to be burned alive (that would be unethical, but if someone else did it before me, I guess it would be so bad--but I digress), but I do want to call him out on his B.S. What about you guys?

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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