Earlier today, we attempted to reconcile the intention of former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III to sell a book that delves into, among other things, the sexual harassment issues within the franchise with his failure to say anything about what he knows either in the past or in the present, given that the issue continues to be the subject of intense public curiosity — and a Congressional investigation.
In response to our tweet on the issue, Griffin said this: “Sexual harassment victims should share their stories when they are ready not when you want them to. The book is not about other people’s experiences with sexual harassment in Washington. It’s about my experience with sexual harassment in Washington. Hopefully you will listen.”
That comment creates the impression that Griffin is a victim of sexual harassment, not a witness to it. So we sought further clarification in response to his tweet. He has not replied.
He has, however, retweeted this tweet from his wife: “Let’s clear up a misconception about ‘Surviving Washington.’ In the book, Robert is not talking about other peoples experiences with sexual harassment in Washington. He is talking about his OWN experience with sexual harassment in Washington.”
Again, this creates the impression that Griffin was a victim, not a witness.
His co-author, Gary Myers, said this to the Washington Post on the issue of sexual harassment: “He heard things, didn’t witness . . . a lot of what came out in those Washington Post stories.”
Also, Griffin said this in his online video announcing the book: “I’m gonna open your eyes to the sexual harassment that permeated the walls of that building.”
While sexual harassment victims clearly have the right to share their stories when they are ready, it’s fair to ask whether he’s actually a victim, and whether he’s deliberately being coy about this subject in order to sell books. Especially since he has yet to say with true clarity that he was indeed a victim of sexual harassment.
It’s not unprecedented for men to be victims of sexual harassment, obviously. As it relates to the reported culture of the Washington Football Team, however, the notion that a male employee was harassed sexually would dramatically change the existing perception/reality that women were the exclusive victims.
At this point, all we can do it wait for Griffin’s actual story to emerge, either when the book is published or when advance copies make their rounds, in the months preceding official publication. Was he a victim, a witness, or something else? We’ll find out no later than August 2022.