Fans rightly boo Eric Ebron selection by Detroit Lions in NFL draft

By Rob Parker - Sports Columnist

DETROIT - There was a collective sigh.

That was followed by disbelief. Lastly, it was followed by loud boos.

That was the scene at On The Rocks, a sports bar in Madison Heights. Fans had come for a Lions NFL Draft party hosted by WDFN's Sports Night with Parker and The Man.

Then, Twitter and Facebook erupted with fans disappointed that the Lions used their first round pick, the 10th overall, to draft North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron.

It's not that Ebron can't play. He was considered the best TE on the draft board. It's just that the Lions had many needs and a tight end wasn't one of them.

Most fans were hoping the Lions would address the defense with a cornerback to help that horrid secondary that gave up four, fourth-quarter leads last season.

Many hoped the Lions would land either Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert or Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard. Both were drafted in the first round.

A shock by the selection of Ebron is a understatement. In fact, nine media members were polled on before the draft. Eight picks were of defensive players. Only one person picked Ebron. It was the Lions' radio play-by-play man. Hence, he might have been tipped off in advance by the organization.

The Lions' spin of the unpopular pick was that Ebron could be the next Jimmy Graham, the talented Saints' TE.

"The guy's a very special offensive weapon," GM Martin Mayhew said to media after the pick. "I talked earlier (this offseason) at the league meetings about there being a certain number of elite, I thought, athletes and prospects in the Top 10. He's one of those guys I was talking about."

Still, fans aren't worried about the offense. It's the defense that hasn't been good enough to win in a division with stud QBs Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler.

It's way the Lions' pick made many fans say, "SOL - same old Lions."

Sherman on the Money

Fresh off a new $57 million deal, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was right on the money.

And his comments had nothing to do with his new contract.

In a Time Magazine story, Sherman didn't bite his tongue when talking about how the Donald Sterling scandal was handled.

It's been more than a week since the NBA banned Sterling for life after the Los Angeles Clippers owner was caught on tape in a racist rant.

Sherman praised the NBA and how it took action against Sterling. He went onto say that he didn't believe the NFL would have done the same thing.

He pointed to the simple fact that the NFL has a team called the Redskins, a racist name to many.

"No I don't," Sherman said. "Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins. I don't think the NFL is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn't affect their bottom line, they're not concerned."

When NBA commissioner Adam Silver threw the book at Sterling - which included the process of forcing him to sell his team along with lifetime banishment - the NBA players clearly won after threatening a boycott.

On that day, it was interesting to see NFL players tweet in support of their NBA brothers.

Sadly, the NFL players union has been even softer than players from the Association. So often, they have been pushed around and bullied by their own commissioner.

In this case, the NFL had a similar situation this past year and handled it totally different.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper got caught on tape using the N-word last year. Not to one person, but about all black people at a country music concert.

Cooper got off.

Sterling was caught saying on tape about black people. And how ironic, Sterling never used the N-word. Cooper did and was allowed to keep playing.

The players allowed a guy who had no issue using a degrading word in public despite a  league and locker room where more than 70% of the league is African American.

The NFL players union has also turned its head to the Washington Redskins flap over team's racist name.

It's not a Native American fight. It's a right, wrong fight.

The Washington name controversy could have been solved already.

You wouldn't need Native American groups to protest or picket outside stadiums around NFL America. You wouldn't need the NFL commissioner to step in use his ultimate power to get this name change to happen.

 All it would take is for all African American players on the team to stand together and demand it.

Yes, it's that simple.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.