Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew is sick of hearing about his teammate Justin Blackmon in the media.
Blackmon has faced criticism in the press for his off-field actions in the 13 months since the Jaguars made him the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, off-field actions that included a guilty plea to aggravated DUI and a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. In Jones-Drew’s opinion, the media criticism of Blackmon has been “out of control.”
“The media just blows it out of proportion,” Jones-Drew said. “A lot of people make several mistakes. If you’re that age and you have that amount of money, how would you act? If you answer that question truthfully, you can go from there.”
It won’t surprise you to learn that I, as a member of the media, think Jones-Drew is wrong: Blackmon’s issues are a significant story in the NFL, and reporters who cover the NFL are of course going to cover Blackmon’s issues.
And while Jones-Drew may be right that “a lot of people make several mistakes,” that doesn’t mean Blackmon shouldn’t be held accountable for his mistakes. There are many, many people who make a lot of money at a young age and don’t get into trouble for driving drunk and failing drug tests. Blackmon’s problems make him the exception, rather than the rule, and that’s what makes him a target for critical coverage in the media.
And until Blackmon stops getting into off-field trouble, he’s going to keep getting criticism in the media. Whether his teammates like it or not.