Redskins VP Doug Williams: Allegations against Reuben Foster are 'small potatoes'

Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen was reportedly behind the team claiming linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers this week after Foster’s arrest for a domestic violence accusation. Yet the team won’t make Allen available to the media, letting senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams be the spokesperson for the move.

The Washington Post reported was Allen’s move and the front office was “far from unanimous” over. Who really knows why Williams is the one speaking about it, but it’s not going well.

Williams put out a statement on it, and the team said that statement would stand from the front office (coach Jay Gruden was asked about it during his normal press conference, and the PR staff cut off Foster questions after nine minutes). Williams wasn’t done talking about it though, and he made a comment that won’t stop the outcry over the controversial move.

Doug Williams says allegations against Reuben Foster are ‘small potatoes’

Already this week we’ve seen a couple of comments that show the NFL is still lagging behind when it comes to having sensitive discussions about domestic violence, but Williams topped them all during an interview with The Team 980.

Washington claimed former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster days after he was arrested on a domestic violence accusation. (AP)
Washington claimed former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster days after he was arrested on a domestic violence accusation. (AP)

“Oh yeah, we knew that was going to happen, and like I said, rightfully so with all the stuff that is going on in this country,” Williams said on The Team 980, via the Sporting News. “We’ve got people who are in high, high, high, high places that have done far worse, and if you look at it realistically, they’re still up there. This is small potatoes [compared to] a lot of things out there. But at the same time it’s a big issue in America today, whether or not it’s in football, whether or not it’s in everyday life, whether or not it’s in politics, it’s out there.”

Was Williams referencing President Donald Trump there? Who else would be in a high, high, high, high place? It’s probably coincidence, but Trump referred to the failed USFL in an ESPN documentary as “small potatoes.”

No matter what Williams was referencing, using the term “small potatoes” for Foster, who has been accused of domestic violence twice by the same woman, is as poor of a choice of words as there will be about the matter.

Redskins getting heat for claiming Foster

Washington got ripped for the move, and rightfully so. Even San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, whose team cut Foster after the accusation last weekend by the woman that Foster abused her in the team hotel, said he was surprised anyone claimed Foster.

The Redskins have tried rationalizing the move, and while it’s a cowardly act to not have Allen or owner Daniel Snyder answer for it, Williams’ comments might show the team is better off not saying anything at all.

“We knew there was going to be some backlash, and we understand that, and rightfully so,” Williams told The Team 980, via Sporting News. “I’ve got six daughters, so it ain’t something I would condone, but at the same time I think we are in the business of at least looking into [his case].

“I could sit here, and I won’t, name a bunch of teams that took on players that got a lot of baggage that nobody’s saying anything about. You can’t get into nitpicking what they do and what you do. You gotta look at it from your standpoint. There was a lot of thought that went into it. It wasn’t just a spur of the moment type of thing. We all gathered, we talked about it, we knew there was going to be some risk-reward involved in it.”

The Redskins don’t get to dish out some whataboutism in this case. Whatever other teams have done isn’t part of the conversation. The Redskins claimed off waivers a player who days earlier was accused of domestic violence at a team hotel. The team should have to answer for that.

Then again, with the ridiculousness way in which they’ve handled the matter, maybe it is better if they go silent on the matter.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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