If you are a professional athlete with the financial ability to spend tens of thousands of dollars in one weekend, and happen to enjoy seeing naked women, then you are the stuff dreams are made of for strip club owners.
Of course, you are also the stuff police blotters are made of.
The Vikings are constantly struggling to keep their players out of trouble (hey, facts are facts) so their efforts to do so have now reached unprecedented heights.
Sean Bishop, a felon and former strip club owner (and current strip club worker) is flown to Winter Park every year to let the team’s rookies know some blunt truths about the industry.
“I don’t need their money,” Bishop said. “I tell them I am a scumbag club owner who will use and abuse you. I just don’t want to see any of them ruin their lives. They need to be protected from themselves.”
So how does a guy with such questionable morals make his way into the locker room of an NFL team? Well, Bishop himself was once a football player that was coached by Les Pico. Pico is the executive director of player development for the Vikings. Oh, and Zygi Wilf is happy to sign the checks to make it happen.
“He’s not a choirboy by any means,” Pico said about Bishop. “I can’t legislate morality. Sean’s a guy who isn’t afraid to talk negatively about the business he’s in. Our owners give us great latitude allowing us to run these programs and put a convicted felon on a plane to come here and talk to our rookies about why they shouldn’t be in strip clubs.”
“We have two gentlemen who own car dealerships in Pennsylvania and lumberyards in North Carolina who don’t pay for anything here, but average about $15,000 per night in tips (and dances), and they’ll do it for 10 straight nights,” Bishop continued. “There’s plenty of money out there. I don’t need (players’) money. I’m in a dark business. It’s almost sad. They’re too easy to push into trouble.”
Bishop also explained why strip clubs can become such traps for young athletes.
“These guys get comfortable in the VIP section and think they’re not being seen and forget where they’re at,” he said. “Being a competitive athlete, it’s hard for them to turn the other cheek or swallow their pride and walk away from bad situations. Instead, they make a scene and forget where they’re at because the owner’s treating them like a king, they’re young and think they’re invincible when all it takes is one snapshot and you’re done.”
Anytime I hear of the Vikings going to extra lengths to keep their players out of trouble it makes me happy.
Maybe one of these days it will start working.