Jimmy Graham, star tight end of the New Orleans Saints, found himself at the center of a new NFL scandal this week as his neighbors came forward to speak about his tendency to shove people out of his way.
“I first noticed it back in April,” said Gladys Brown, 67, who lives across the street from Graham. “I was pruning the hedges at the front of my lawn when I saw him leave his door and begin jogging. I didn’t think anything of it, but a second later he crossed the street, pushed me into the hedges, and then continued to jog. He didn’t need to do that.”
Brown isn’t the only one who has broken the silence about Graham’s behavior. Phillip Westermore, a clerk at the nearby Winn-Dixie grocery, was the victim of Graham’s unusual attention in early August. “I was stocking canned tomatoes on the bottom shelf when I noticed Jimmy approaching. I greeted him with a smile but he had a very impatient expression on his face. I guess I was in the way of something he wanted off the shelf,” Westermore reported.
What happened next has landed the two-time Pro Bowler in hot water. “He leaned over, put a hand on my back, and shoved me forward just so he could reach a can of stewed tomatoes,” Westermore said. “He could have asked for the can of tomatoes. He didn’t need to do that.”
Westermore brought the matter up to his store manager who turned surveillance footage of the incident over to the New Orleans Police Department. NOPD spokesman Frank Robertson declined to comment on the case as the investigation is still in progress. To date, neighbors have reported 36 separate events where Graham shoved locals for no apparent reason, including incidents involving mail carriers, missionaries, and at least one lawn gnome.
When asked about whether the police investigation would lead to an arrest, Graham’s agent, Jimmy Sexton responded that “there is a lot of speculation about what may or may not have happened in the Winn-Dixie, but if you see the surveillance video for yourself, it’s obvious that the clerk was flopping.”