In a piece written by Steve Fainaru Mark Fainaru-Wada of ESPN.com, former 49ers linebacker Chris Borland talked about a very uncomfortable experience he had at the rookie symposium.
“Shortly after he was drafted by the 49ers in the third round last year, Borland attended the annual rookie orientation put on by the NFL. The league tries to prepare young players for what to expect on and off the field, and it brought in two prominent retired players to give the rookies advice.
“‘Get yourself a fall guy,'” Borland says one of the former players advised. The former player, whom Borland declined to name, told the rookies that if they ran into legal trouble, their designated fall guy would be there to take the blame and, if necessary, go to jail. “‘We’ll bail him out,'” Borland says the former player assured them.
Borland was appalled. “‘I was just sitting there thinking, “‘Should I walk out? What am I supposed to do?'” he recalls. He says he didn’t leave the room because he didn’t want to cause a scene, but the incident stayed with him.”