Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III put up a seemingly innocuous Instagram video today, showing himself listening to “Billie Jean” while driving to his morning workout. But RG3 is a polarizing figure these days, and he soon learned that nothing he does can be completely innocuous.
As pointed out by the Washington Post, Griffin quickly heard from fans who think every minute he spends on social media is a minute he should be studying his playbook, watching film, working out or otherwise getting better as a quarterback. One fan even went so far as to tell Griffin, “This is why you will be cut after next year in Washington.”
The best response to personal attacks on social media is usually to ignore them, but Griffin decided to fire back. Griffin asked the fan, “And I’m presenting myself in a negative way by doing . . . what exactly?”
The fan continued to insist that it’s a bad look for Griffin to be on social media, Griffin continued to insist that he’s just trying to interact with his fans, and neither side seemed to want to back down, with other fans also jumping in to post their own thoughts.
Griffin has taken plenty of shots in the last two years, some fair and some unfair. In this case, the fan’s criticism is wrong and Griffin is right. Taking a minute or two here or there to interact with fans on social media isn’t any kind of proof that Griffin fails to take his offseason work seriously enough. Only someone who’s predisposed to dislike Griffin would see it that way.
Unfortunately for Griffin, the reality is that until he returns to playing the way he played as a rookie, he’s going to face this kind of criticism. No one complains about Tom Brady’s frequent social media posts because Brady just won his fourth Super Bowl ring. But lots of people complain about Griffin’s social media posts because Griffin is coming off his second straight disappointing season.
Just as soon as Griffin gets back to his rookie form, he’ll be embraced by fans on social media again. Until then, he’s going to have to accept that a whole lot of fans will be coming after him, whether that’s fair or not.