Aaron Donald sponsored media appearance included effort by P.R. rep to block questions about helmet incident

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Six days after an incident that made Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald the talk of the league, Donald didn’t want to talk about the incident.

He did a media tour on Wednesday to promote a product. It’s a simple quid pro quo. The player submits to an interview, with the understanding that he’ll get a chance to promote his product.

Usually, there’s no effort to limit the subject matter of the interview portion of the questions. Sometimes there is. Sometimes the interviewer will comply. Sometimes the interviewer will politely explain that the questions must be asked. Sometimes the interviewer will simply cancel the interview because, frankly, it’s inappropriate for anyone who is being interviewed to attempt to apply restrictions on the topics to be discussed.

Donald’s appearances included a spot with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio. In a very unusual move, a P.R. person actually interrupted the segment after Gelb asked one too many questions about the helmet-swinging fracas from L.A’s joint practice with the Bengals.

Here’s the relevant excerpt.

Gelb: “What happened last week in joint practices, because we all saw the video of you swinging helmets? And people were wondering what was going on there?”

Donald: “It was just a practice. Obviously, people got phones out and things like that. But I’m not gonna sit and talk about negative stuff that happened at a practice. My main focus is Buffalo.”

Gelb: “Was there any internal punishment?”

Donald: “We talked. We talked, so. . . .”

Gelb: “Were you thinking maybe you were going to get suspended or anything?”

P.R. person: “Hey Zach, we’re just gonna focus just here because Aaron’s here today to talk about [product we have no compulsion to mention]. So you do have two minutes left, if you want to pivot to your last question please.”

Gelb then tried, to his credit, to ask one more question about the incident. He asked what sparked the fight. Donald deftly twisted it into a pitch for his product. And that was that.

It’s unfortunate. Donald ultimately faced no real accountability for engaging in inherently dangerous conduct. The league inexplicably couldn’t suspend him, and the Rams predictably wouldn’t. Then, while on a paid media tour that included the ability to interview him in exchange for giving him the opportunity to sell the product, Donald didn’t want to answer simple questions about what caused him to blow a fuse so violently and shockingly.

He should have canceled or postponed the media tour. He surely doesn’t need the money. He definitely doesn’t need the headache.

Then again, neither did the guy who had football helmet violently slammed against the football helmet he was wearing last Thursday.

37 responses to “Aaron Donald sponsored media appearance included effort by P.R. rep to block questions about helmet incident

  1. The Bengals starting O line dominated and stymied everything Donald tried to do in those joint practice’s. And on the third day he could take no more. You have seen the video and know the rest. This guy does not like the word No

  2. Hey man, it was a practice. AD didn’t go medieval for no reason. On to Buffalo. Now if he sacks Josh Allen and then pulls his helmet off and bonks him over the head with it , we can start talking suspension. There is nothing in the cba about practice fights. If someone hadn’t had a phone there would be no story. Stop hating on the Rams. World Champs!!!

  3. Donald, while an amazing football player, seems to have major anger issues. His anger may fuel his play and it seems to serve him well as an interior lineman (aside from choking opponents, fighting after games, and wielding helmets as weapons) but it might not be so good once he’s retired. The guy should get some counseling.

  4. Violent sport played by violent men. The best you can hope for is the violence remains on the field.

  5. “Ever seen a helmet fold like a taco because Aaron Donald was trying to bash your skull in? Well, that’s why the Rams and Donald are proud sponsors of this pain-reliever.”

  6. Brady gets suspended 4 games because Goodell and his minions don’t understand basic science and a guy who attempted to violently assault someone gets a pass.

  7. “It’s ok it was only practice is his reasoning? Excuse me what! SMH…
    He’s a real leader.

  8. Kinda like how they don’t want to talk about him jumping offsides to win a super bowl. The nfl has become a joke.

  9. Just like Suh, Donald is a loose cannon. Some people just can handle it…

  10. Donald has a track record of being dirty, it doesn’t get talked about it because the team he plays for and the awards he wins…. But the man has anger issues beyond normal player aggression… The inverse of that was Suh, always having to give the extra… only he was on a team that was an easy target… if Suh swung helmets like that people would be calling for him the be exiled from the league!

  11. NFL is a joke.

    Obviously they punish only when, and up to, the amount they are forced to.

    They don’t care about player safety, criminal acts, drug use, domestic violence, etc.

    UNLESS they are forced to pretend they do by the press and fan pushback.

    Another example.

  12. The Players are the final arbiters of punishment in the NFL, and it’s alway meted out on the field.

  13. Donald ultimately faced no real accountability for engaging in inherently dangerous conduct.
    I’d say this has been going on his whole life because he’s clearly an animal but no one has ever said or done anything.

  14. The NFL should step up and STOP enabling players like him. Get them help instead. We don’t need another OJ, Hernandez, etc.

  15. The media should’ve came in swinging microphones around from their cable in the direction of everyone else and said, it’s just a press conference.

  16. The NFL is still struggling to capture the LA market even with the two teams playing well and winning a lot. To them its all about attracting that market that has been so historically elusive there. So suspending a star player just because he assaulted someone on the field with a weapon is not furthering their real agenda.

  17. mookie34 says:
    August 31, 2022 at 11:21 pm
    If elected politicians can do it, why not paid athletes?


    This is actually spot on. Fair is fair.

  18. manderson4150 says:
    September 1, 2022 at 9:41 am
    Has anyone ever told Aaron Donald “No?”


    Not and lived to tell about it

  19. In a game, assault with a deadly weapon, punishable by death. In practice, almost a parking ticket.

  20. Why do you constantly try to stir stuff up? Anyone bothered by this should go find a “safe place” to get a hug.

  21. So, apparently neither the NFL or Aaron Donald is interested in being a good role model? Because you know this is all over social media and kids who play football are watching.

  22. If he played for a sub 500 team his actions would not be tolerated…he should be thankful that he’s on a team with a good coach and has a GM that the views the salary cap as a term that has no meaning.

  23. I guess somebody had to die or suffer broken bones before any punishment is administered to Donald. whats serious assault on the street is merely playing around in the NFL.oh well at least nobody died in the incident.

  24. So if he connected with one or both helmets and caused some serious head injury or death, do we and the authorities just say “It’s unfortunate that this guy just died, but hey, it was just practice.”

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