The Miami Dolphins are used to being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but even by their standards, the latest embarrassment was a stunner:
Chris Foerster, their 55-year-old offensive line coach, is out of a job after video emerged late Sunday of Foerster snorting lines of a white powdery substance in what appeared to be his Dolphins office.
So as the nation gawked at and the organization reeled from this latest bombshell, two conflicting narratives surrounding Foerster emerged Monday:
He was a beloved “players coach” whose behavior on the video, which was leaked by a Las Vegas entertainer, “shocked” his players, according to rookie tackle Eric Smith.
Foerster was “an odd bird” with “some strange peculiarities,” according to a past associate, who wasn’t surprised Foerster would behave in the way he did — just that he was foolish enough to tape himself doing it.
Whatever his motivations, Foerster knows his behavior was wrong, and told Dolphins coach Adam Gase that during a late-night phone conversation Sunday.
Hours later, he offered his resignation, which the Dolphins were quick to accept.
“[I] accept full responsibility for my actions,” Foerster said in a statement released by the team. “I want to apologize to the organization, and my sole focus is on getting the help that I need with the support of my family and medical professionals.”
During a team meeting Monday, Gase told Dolphins players that the team will help Foerster get that help.
But beyond that, his relationship with the organization is likely done for good.
Foerster’s shame is just the latest black eye for a franchise just four years removed from an ugly bullying scandal that stretched on for months and cost several players and staffers their jobs.
In the years since, the Dolphins have used a first-round pick on a player who was videotaped smoking through a gas mask bong (Laremy Tunsil), lost another first-round pick to a year banishment for multiple failed drug tests (Dion Jordan), grimaced when a team captain wore a hat in support of an accused (and later convicted) murderer (Mike Pouncey) and worried for the safety of a highly paid defensive player who vanished from the team hotel the night before his debut (Lawrence Timmons).
“We deal with a lot over here,” said safety Michael Thomas, a 2017 Dolphins captain.
But nothing quite like the latest embarrassment. Foerster, a father of three, sent an amorous video message — during which he snorted lines — to a Vegas dancer who identifies herself as Kijuana Nige. She has given conflicting reasons for going public with the footage.
Nige said overnight that she did it in response to the league’s stance on players kneeling during the national anthem, but then gave a more plausible explanation on social media Monday:
“He should have kept sending me my checks,” Nige wrote on Facebook.
In Foerster’s video, he suggested Nige was pregnant. It is unclear when the video was shot.
The Dolphins shed no light on Foerster’s exact relationship with Nige, but in the video, he mentioned getting high with her in the past.
“It's not a good situation,” Gase said. “It wasn't something that you would expect. Things happen sometimes that you don't anticipate and you have to deal with it. It's not fun, especially when you're close with somebody.”
Gase added that Foerster, a dependably hard worker, is “mad at himself” for his reckless decisions.
In a statement announcing Foerster’s resignation, the Dolphins said they have “zero tolerance” for his behavior.
As for Dolphins players, few ventured into the locker room during the 45-minute period in which it was open to reporters. Smith agreed to speak on his teammates’ behalf.
He first saw the video clip when a teammate sent him it late Sunday. His first thought? This is a joke.
“I was just in awe,” Smith said. “I had no words. Still, to this moment — it’s been about 12 hours since I’ve seen the video, and I’m still in shock. I have no true expression or emotion for the situation. It’s a lot to take in. You don’t see this every day, and definitely not with every team.”
As of late Monday, the Dolphins had not decided on Foerster’s replacement. They could elevate his assistant, Chris Kuper, or hire someone from the outside. Sporting News mentioned Dave Magazu, who worked with Gase in both Chicago and Denver, as a possible candidate.