Sports is a business. We hear this over and over. But even in the world of business, it’s shocking to see when a company/boss/employee displays a complete lack of human compassion. This is the story of how Mike Golic of ESPN’s Mike & Mike lost his job as a defensive tackle with the Miami Dolphins.
In the NFL, contracts are not guaranteed. If a player gets cut so does the contract. One caveat to protect injured players from this ruthless business is that NFL teams cannot cut injured players to clear up salary cap space.
In 1993, Mike Golic was a starting defensive tackle with the Miami Dolphins (played in 15 games, started in 8). In the very first game of the season, Golic partially tore a ligament in his knee. I’m not sure exactly which ligament he tore but as someone who has torn his meniscus twice, I cannot imagine playing 15 games on a bum knee. Instead of opting for surgery in Week 1, Golic played the entire season with the partially torn ligament before he underwent surgery in the offseason to repair his knee. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins had drafted two defensive tackles in the NFL draft that offseason.
When Mike Golic showed up to training camp he wanted to compete for his starting position but his knee wasn’t 100% yet. The team couldn’t cut Mike if he was technically still injured, and he was. I’ll let Mike take it from here (via Business Insider):
I was still recovering from the knee surgery and training and such. I wanted to give mini-camp a good test for my knee. It wasn’t 100% [healthy] by any chance. So, I was in talking to the team trainer about my knee. I said ‘Listen, it is not really 100%, but I want to go out here and I want to try to see what it can do during mini-camp.’ He said, ‘Well, if you are going to go out there, you need to sign this piece of paper that says your knee is fine and you are going to go practice.’ I did because I wanted to go out there and practice.
“So I sign the piece of paper, open the door, and there was somebody standing right there, right there,” Golic said as he pointed in front of him. “I couldn’t even leave the room, and he said ‘the general manager wants to see you.’ And I am like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'” (via)
I guess I’m just cut from a different cloth than the employees on NFL teams who would make a decision to do this. I can’t ever, in a million fucking years, imagine tricking someone into fighting for their job only to fire them because you got them to sign a piece of paper saying they weren’t injured. I hope this was a lesson for Mike, and anyone reading this, to always read everything before you sign it.
For more on this story, CLICK HERE to head on over to Business Insider.