Willie McGinest. Patriots team Hall of Famer. Possible future Pro Football Hall of Famer. Member of the Pats' exclusive Three Rings Club. Still the all time leader in career postseason sacks with 16.0. What a football career. What a post football career, as he currently works for the NFL Network. Nothing could tarnish that legacy, right?
Wrong. Remember when the worst thing he ever did on camera was use TV-MA language after Super Bowl LI without issuing a "Viewer Discretion Advised" warning?
Well that use of 12-letter sailor talk looks like the NFL on Nickelodeon compared to this security camera footage:
TMZ - New England Patriots legend Willie McGinest has been arrested in Los Angeles, TMZ Sports has learned. … His bail has been set at $30,000.
And - [The] shocking video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows him punching the guy in the face and later bashing him in the head with a bottle.
The wild altercation went down on Dec. 9 at Delilah in West Hollywood … when the ex-NFL star and several of his apparent acquaintances could be seen in the footage unloading on a man who was sitting at a table at the popular lounge.
In the clip, you can see McGinest walking up to the guy and appearing to exchange words with him -- before landing a left hook straight to his face.
At least three other men could be seen in the video immediately jumping into the action -- landing a flurry of strikes on the man over and over again. …
At one point during the melee, McGinest appeared to pick up a bottle … and then slam it into the man's head repeatedly. The 51-year-old former linebacker can be seen in the footage tossing it onto a nearby sofa, before finally walking away from the scene.
Holy cats. You know those things you should always say whenever anyone is accused of a crime? All those little qualifiers that shield you from getting in trouble with anyone's legal department? Those magical words and phrases that act as sort of Hogwart's protective charm, like "allegedly," and "innocent until proven guilty," or even the old "there are two sides to every story"? Yeah, about those. They might still be worth using, but I don't know how you seriously apply them to this situation. It seems about as cut and dried as repeated punches to the face get.
No news sources seem as yet to have any positive ID on the (alleged?) victim here. Or what the (possible?) motive was. But unless this is the most realistic deepfake ever generated or a scene from an action movie McGinest is working on that no one ever heard of, it seems pretty clear what happened here.
And even if you want to give Big Willie Style as much benefit of the doubt as possible, I can't imagine in any way, shape or form this is justified. Even if this guy sitting at the table stole from you, threatened someone you care about, or just got back from committing war atrocities in Ukraine, this is not how you (reportedly) handle it. I mean, what did the people trying to enjoy Delilah's fine appetizers do to deserve having their Kampachi Crudo (at 27 bucks a pop) fly through the air after you (are accused of) body slam some stranger into their table table for two like he's Bills Mafia?
Even if he's history's greatest monster (and there's no evidence suggesting he is), this is no way to approach the situation. Dalton was the best there ever was a handling unruly people in a crowded place, and his third rule was "Take it outside" for good reason.
Furthermore, McGinest has one of the sweetest gigs on television, opining about the NFL for a network owned by the NFL. Where ratings don't matter. The hottest takes are room temperature. All you're required to do is enjoy the hell out of pro football and pretend Roger Goodell is a relatable everyman who loves the game and the fans, and you'll have that job for life like a Supreme Court Justice. Beating a guy over the head with a bottle on camera (reputedly) is one of the last things you should be involved in. Especially at the age of 51.
It'll be interesting to see what McGinest - make that, McGinest's lawyers - have to say about this. Because it's going to take all the spin in the world and several ironclad non-disclosures to make it go away. My only free amateur legal advice is that he not try for self-defense. The man is 6-foot-5, 268 pounds, and I watched him put Orlando Pace in a revolving door in Super Bowl XXXVI. I don't think he needed the two other guys or a bottle to handle this restaurant patron.