Brian Robinson on Commanders Statement: Have to Be Stronger Than What I'm Up Against

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 11, 2022

Brian Robinson Jr.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. said he spoke with head coach Ron Rivera about a much-maligned team statement that referenced an attempted robbery in August that left him with two gunshot wounds.

"I told him how I felt about it and put it past me," Robinson told reporters Thursday. "I can't control that. I'm just going to continue doing what I've been doing."

The Commanders' statement used Robinson's situation to spotlight what it described as "out-of-control violent crime" in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to discredit D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine ahead of an announcement about the organization.

Robinson, a rookie who returned from his injuries to make his NFL debut on Oct. 9, said he's been trying to move on from the shooting.

"I wish it would be like that, but the reality is it will take a while for it to die all the way down," he said. "I've got to be stronger than what I'm up against. That's been the case ever since it happened. I have to continue to do that."

Racine announced Thursday he'd filed a lawsuit against the Commanders, team owner Daniel Snyder, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell for "colluding to deceive District residents—Commanders' core fans—about an investigation into toxic workplace culture and allegations of sexual assault to maintain a strong fanbase and increase profits."

"The Commanders and Dan Snyder lied to D.C. residents about what they knew about a toxic culture of sexual harassment and then they entered into a secret agreement with the NFL and commissioner Goodell that kept the truth from D.C. residents—all in an effort to protect their profits," Racine said. "In D.C., you can't lie to consumers to enrich yourself and get away with it. That's what this lawsuit is about: standing up for D.C. residents who were deceived and misled. No one—not even Mr. Snyder—is above the law."

In July 2021, the NFL fined Washington $10 million after an investigation unearthed an internal culture that featured bullying, intimidation, multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace.

Separate investigations, including the one by Racine and another by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, were launched in the wake of the NFL's findings.

Snyder and his wife, Tanya, released a statement last week saying they'd hired Bank of America Securities to "consider potential transactions" involving the franchise, including a possible sale.

Commanders president Jason Wright told ESPN's John Keim the team's statement in response to Racine "expressed our external counsel's ongoing frustration with the Attorney General's office" but should not have included the reference to Robinson's situation.

"[The statement] should have been separate and apart from referencing the terrible crime that affected our player," he said.

Wright added he'd been in contact with D.C. Metropolitan Police chief Robert Contee to express the team's continued support of police "working to reduce gun violence and crime across the region."

Meanwhile, Robinson has recorded 226 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown across his first five NFL appearances. He's received a solid 70.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

The Commanders (4-5) are back in action Monday night when they visit Lincoln Financial Field for a primetime clash with the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (8-0).