Theismann irks Argos owner

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

Former Argo Joe Theismann is showing a lack of sensitivity to people with a history of drug use considering issues in his own family, according to one of the Argos owners.

David Cynamon, who owns the team with Howard Sokolowski, took offence with various comments Theismann issued on two radio stations on Tuesday, in particular his thoughts on running back Ricky Williams, whom the Argos signed on Sunday. Theismann said Williams, who has been suspended from the National Football League for the 2006 season for his fourth substance abuse violation, is a drug addict who needs help.

"It's really a delicate subject for him to attack someone if he has that in his own family," Cynamon told the Toronto Sun last night.

Theismann's son, Joe, pled guilty in 2002 to dealing cocaine and possession drug paraphernalia. In 2003, he was sentenced to a 10-year suspended prison term and placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay $2,500.

"If I was his son and he's calling this guy (Williams) a drug addict and he should quit (football) and he's a loser, I'd be shattered," Cynamon added. "This thing is really bothersome."

While saying he respects Theismann's opinion, Cynamon said the analyst overstepped his right as a media member with his comments. Theismann also labeled the Argos a classless organization, principally by signing Williams, and said he's embarrassed to have worn the Argo logo. Theismann played quarterback for the Argos from 1971-73.

"By calling us classless and saying the things he said, that's abuse of his position and the business he's now in," Cynamon said. "If he was just a caller calling in, he would never have been allowed (to do that). I think he crossed the line.

"Without knowing us, knowing what we do, knowing what we believe is really an abuse of his profession. I'm appalled by it and I believe he owes us a public apology. I was shattered. Howard, Keith (Pelley, the team's president) and me are not bad people. We don't deserve treatment like that.

"For him to come out and say he was embarrassed to wear the (Argos logo), we were the ones that brought back the A. That is a real slap in the face."

Cynamon called ESPN to leave a message for Theismann, who called him two hours later.

"I phoned him right away because I was hurt and he said he got carried away, but I don't feel it was sincere," Cynamon said.


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