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Matthews, Cushing Might Have Had Some Explaining To Do

One of our more astute readers pointed out to us tonight a controversy that first arose in 2007. If we knew about it at the time, we’d forgotten about it completely. Former USC linebackers Clay Matthews, who is regarded as potential first-round draft pick, created two years ago a Facebook group called “White Nation,” which among other things advocated the “arrest [of] black babies before they become criminals.” Former USC linebacker Brian Cushing, another potential first-round prospect, joined the Facebook group. It was all a joke, an unnamed administration source previously told the Daily Trojan (which coincidentally was the working title of Wilt Chamberlain’s autobiography). Apparently, the joke arose from the fact that Matthews, Cushing, and other white teammates were dubbed “White Nation” by one or more non-white USC players. It’s unknown whether and to what extent Matthews and/or Cushing have been grilled about the incident during pre-draft interviews. But if the Niners deemed it appropriate to ask Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford about the divorce of his parents, it’s more than fair game for NFL teams to revisit the issue with Matthews and/or Cushing in order to confirm that it really was a joke -- and then to attempt to discern the humor in it.