It’s one of the most mysterious lay-offs in TV history. And everyone has an opinion or theory on why it happened.
Cris Carter was suddenly ousted from a cushy gig at FOX Sports Thursday morning after serving as an analyst for FS1’s morning show “First Things First” for four years. The former Eagles wide receiver hadn’t appeared on the show since Oct. 30 and his absence was met with a terse statement from the network, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.
There have been many bizarre and unconfirmed rumors floating around since his sudden departure without any real resolution. The most concrete reason was that Carter was upset with his role on FOX’s “Thursday Night Football” studio show.
However, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported a much more “serious issue” was at the heart of the matter. He didn’t elaborate any further than that, leading to widespread speculation of either drug use or sexual harassment. Neither one has been confirmed.
For his part, Carter has been posting Bible verses on his Twitter account since Oct. 30. It could be pure coincidence as the Hall of Famer is a deeply religious man and ordained minister who often quotes scripture. This isn’t out of the ordinary for him.
Carter’s History with the Philadelphia Eagles
Cris Carter only spent three seasons as a member of the Eagles, but Philadelphia holds a special place in his heart.
The 53-year-old revealed that former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan cut him in 1989 to make him seek help for out-of-control drug addiction. Carter went on to reference the incident and thank Ryan during his Hall-of-Fame induction in 2013.
“My bottom was getting cut and I was so upset because even though they cut me, I wasn’t using at the time,” Carter said in 2014. “They cut me because they couldn’t trust me. At the time, I had only flunked two tests. The next one, I would’ve been suspended for a year. I was clean for over six months at the time I got cut.”
Of course, Carter left Philly and went on to set records for the Minnesota Vikings. But he has often looked back on his time with the Eagles with fondness and frequently cheers for the team on social media.
He was proud of the team for refusing to go to the White House after winning Super Bowl XLII.
Parallels to Another Eagle: DeSean Jackson
When the Eagles cut DeSean Jackson in 2014, Cris Carter was one of the first guys to come rushing to his defense.
The scenario was similar to what happened to him in 1989, at least if reports of Jackson’s alleged gang affiliations were true. True or not, Carter firmly had Jackson’s back.
“The Eagles have the right to employ and cut who they want to, but I don’t believe they had the right to allow this affiliation with the gang to be perpetuated,” Carter told 94WIP in 2014. “I believe they could have stopped that. That’s a stiff accusation to put on an African-American.”
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