Denver Broncos’ punter Marquette King (seen above with the Oakland Raiders last year) hasn’t even played a game for the franchise yet, but he’s already gotten into an argument with a local radio personality. King signed with the Broncos in April after the Raiders released him, and he’s done several media interviews since then, but one he did Friday created a whole controversy that spilled over into a confrontation after Sunday’s practice.
On Friday, King did an interview on 104.3 The Fan’s midday show (which was live at training camp), hosted by former Broncos’ player Brandon Stokley and co-host Zach Bye. But after agreeing to talk to them, he only gave short answers to their questions, said he didn’t like talking about football, and then didn’t want to talk about anything else. They cut the interview off after around 90 seconds. On Saturday, this turned into a Twitter fight between King and Darren McKee, who co-hosts 104.3’s afternoon drive show with former Broncos’ player Alfred Williams. And on Sunday, it led to an argument between King and McKee after practice.
First, Friday’s interview, which comes right at the start of this Hour 2 segment; here’s the hosts’ intro, the interview, and their reaction, which includes Bye expressing his frustration to King’s limited answers and saying “I had heard about two weeks ago that Marquette King was frustrated about being here” and saying that he talked to a member of the Broncos’ PR staff about King’s short answers, and that they said “Unfortunately, that is becoming kind of normal.” (However, it also has them praising King’s on-field play and saying that it’s fine if he doesn’t want to talk or doesn’t want to give full answers, so this isn’t anywhere as critical as you might expect.)
Later on Friday, though, McKee brought this up on the afternoon show. And he went in harder on King than Stokley and Bye did, saying “We never have to worry about ever interviewing Marquette King,” “I’m stunned with how he treated Zach and Stokley, it was beyond disrespectful,” “If you don’t know who Brandon Stokley is or you [Williams] or [morning host] Mark Schlereth, you’re just not that bright in terms of your NFL IQ,” “You’re a punter, dude.” This then includes an interview with Bye who says “I’ve been doing this for decades, and that was the worst interview I’ve done in any platform.”
King then responded to that with a tweet at McKee:
— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) August 4, 2018
McKee shot back with some tweets of his own:
To be interviewed then simply don’t do it. If you DO decide to do an interview have a clue who you are talking to. Why don’t you ask DT about Stokely as you apparently have no idea who anybody is. Best of luck punting the ball in Denver. Somehow our show will survive without you
— Darren McKee (@dmac1043) August 5, 2018
And then on Sunday, this led to an on-field exchange after practice between King and McKee, as ESPN’s Jeff Legwold writes:
King then confronted McKee briefly after Sunday’s practice, asking “Do we have a problem?” and saying “keep my name out of your mouth.” McKee responded: “Or what?”
After a brief exchange, a member of the Broncos’ media relations staff took King back in the team’s complex.
King then tweeted an apparent endorsement of Marshawn Lynch’s interview-avoidance strategy:
It all makes sense now @MoneyLynch
— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) August 5, 2018
This is all relatively dumb, beginning with King agreeing to the interview and then seemingly not wanting to actually be interviewed. But after that, McKee probably went a bit far with the degree to which he ripped King. And then King went a little far in his own response, especially with confronting McKee after practice. That’s certainly not going to make this situation look any better for him.