Twice since their season ended against the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles players have claimed that reporters twisted their words. Accusations such as those are made constantly, regardless of whether they're fair or the messenger is simply being shot.
So it was encouraging this weekend to see an embattled superstar defend himself without using the media as a conduit. I'll admit that, as a member of the media, I'm personally conflicted on this. But the reality is that pro athletes no longer need reporters to communicate with fans.
Some will call his defense petty. Some will claim it's more proof that the 23-year-old is emotionally fragile or otherwise far too concerned with his image. Those may be valid points, but it's actually refreshing to see a guy admit he cares and take the time to address somewhat silly issues that fans obsess over.
But when you're losing, fans will look for anything to read into. Trivial items are placed under a microscope. Some people don't understand that players rightfully have lives off the field, and that there are only so many hours one can work each day.
If Griffin or any of his NFL peers—Peyton Manning, for example—were truly distracted by tasks as simple as shooting commercials or the media attention that comes with being a star, they wouldn't be NFL players.
I do hope RGIII regains any trust he might have lost in the media, but I understand and applaud his decision to use a direct pipeline to clear things up with those who essentially pay his salary.
We might want to get used to this, though, because, ironically, Griffin felt the need to resort to another form of social media in order to address the way his original message was being reported by the media:
Answer a fan question on Facebook & it is reported as an "issued statement to critics and fans".....SMH. Not the case people.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 13, 2014
The point is the medium is irrelevant, so long as superstars like Griffin can get unfiltered messages out. Although the use of Facebook in particular has given some fuel to one of Griffin's trash-talking former NFC East rivals:
Who still has facebook anyways? Lol. I'm going to release a statement on my MySpace Music Page.— Martellus Bennett (@MartysaurusRex) January 13, 2014