Being a highly paid professional athlete can present players with many off-the-field distractions. So the Minnesota Vikings hired one such distraction to warn their players about what can happen if they get mixed up with the wrong crowd.
According to the Pioneer Press, Sean Bishop — a former strip club owner, convicted felon and self-proclaimed “scumbag” from Florida — was brought in to the Vikings’ rookie symposium to speak to the team’s young players at their practice facility in Eden Prairie, Minn. The Vikings have had numerous off-field incidents over the past few years, including star running back Adrian Peterson’s run-in at a Houston bar earlier in July.
The Vikings hope Bishop can talk some sense into their young players.
“I tell them I am a scumbag club owner who will use and abuse you,” Bishop told the Pioneer Press. “I just don’t want to see any of them ruin their lives. They need to be protected from themselves.”
The 45-year-old Bishop spent six months in prison in 2008 after he attempted to bribe two county commissioners with $1,500. The Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders — two teams who have had their share of off-the-field issues — have also asked Bishop to talk to their rookies.
Bishop still works at the Lollipops Gentleman’s Club in Daytona Beach, Fla., as the director of advertising. His recent visit with the Vikings was the second time in three years he’s talked to the club’s rookies, according to the report. He missed last season due to the NFL lockout. He ended up in Minnesota because he’s a friend of Vikings director of player development Les Pico.
“He’s not a choirboy by any means,” Pico told the Pioneer Press 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.”