In recent comments to GQ, Washington quarterback Alex Smith provided frank, candid comments regarding his belief that the team “didn’t want me there” as he tried to return from a badly-broken leg. Smith now seems to regretting the impact his comments had.
“Seems to be” becomes the key phrase because Smith didn’t go on the record to explain the situation. Instead, someone leaked more information about the situation to JP Finlay of 106.7 The Fan in D.C.
“I talked to a source close to Alex yesterday,” Finlay said. “One thing they want to make clear is that Alex was talking to a reporter that didn’t know anything about football, and if you go back, the first story that came out had to be edited because Alex said ‘IR’ and the reporter thought that meant ‘high arm.’ This is not a dude that knows football. And that’s not a shot. I don’t know lifestyle; I couldn’t go write a fashion piece. I could write about football because that’s my lane. . . . The message from the source I talked to close to Alex is that, listen, there’s no animosity towards the organization. None of those comments were meant to make anybody mad. He was simply telling the story of what happened.”
There’s no denial or dispute regarding the words Smith used when speaking to Clay Skipper of GQ. And so what if Skipper thought he heard “high arm” instead of “IR”? Does that make the quotes he attributed to Smith incorrect?
He said what he said, and no one is saying he didn’t say it. Smith’s concern seems to be not what he said or what was written but the reaction to it.
To his credit, Smith isn’t trying to say he didn’t say what he said. He said it. He presumably meant it. He just didn’t mean for it to be interpreted as criticism of the team.
But how could he not? He chose strong words that painted a clear picture that the team didn’t want Smith back on the field. Unless and until he uses different words or says that the words he used weren’t the words that were published, neither Smith nor any source close to him should complain about the manner in which those who see and hear the words react to them.