I was asked this morning by a friend, if I had seen and read the Facebook comment of Robert Griffin III to a fan. Out of curiosity, I searched it and read it. I find it very disheartening that the press would take this and turn it into something it clearly wasn’t. Robert was responding to a fan on his FB page. It wasn’t a press statement or publicity ploy. He should be entitled to interact with fans and haters alike on his FB page.
Granted, I’m fully aware he is a public figure and every comment, action or reaction is gauged. I get it. However, to take what he said in response to a question asked by a fan is wrong. How would the reporter like to have football players stalking their FB page or family? Camping out at the local grocery store, just to get some material to write? How would the reporters like it if people began to bombard them with a bunch of questions about grammar and dialect? Why they used a colon instead of a semi-colon? Why they decided to wear a purple shirt with those jeans? They wouldn’t. Most would crack under the pressure and find a new line of work.
Sir Charles Barkley said it best back in the 80s; I’m not a role model. That was his way of saying ‘get out of my face and handle your own life’. The modern world lives vicariously through athletes, movie stars and musicians, instead of living their own lives the best way they can. Most are missing out of the joys and heartaches of daily living. This is the age of the internet and cable TV. No more going out to ride a bike; why would you? There’s an app for that or you can do it on the Wii. No more remembering your family or friend’s phone numbers or picking up the phone and actually DIALING a number. Leaving your house at the crack of dawn and only coming home when the sun was going down or your mom was calling you from the porch.
The best example I can give is this: Mickey Mantle was a great baseball player and a major drunk and womanizer. Why, then, is his reputation not tarnished? Because reporters (who fully knew what was going on and witnessed his antics) decided his reputation shouldn’t be put through the ringer for just ‘living’. Most on Capitol Hill and his inner circle knew JFK was a womanizing fool. You can’t sit there and tell me reporters didn’t catch a whiff of this, as well. Why wasn’t that headline news? “JFK Caught in the Act – See page 2”. They didn’t publicize this because the reporters of yesterday were fully aware that they were dealing with a man’s life and family. This is the respect that today’s reporters simply don’t have. If someone remotely famous passes gas and there is a smell to it, some reporter will describe, in detail, how it smelled and will interview those around him for comment.
And there will be arguments from those who say “that’s why they make the big bucks” or “I made them rich and famous by being a fan and going to see their concert, movie, etc.” You are right, to an extent. Being in the public eye does not give anyone the right to invade someone’s personal life. The actor, the musician, the athlete… they all have public images and they all do their best to maintain that image in public. Their private lives should remain that way. Period. If a publicist is not present or a comment doesn’t clearly say it was a press release, then it’s not an ‘official statement’. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be free to express it, without fear of recourse from today’s news. I could say the sky is purple today. That’s my opinion. There will be people saying it’s definitely gray or blue and if that’s the color they see, I’m fine with it. It’s their opinion. I’m not going to put them through the ringer and make it news so that others can find those people and hunt them down and make them admit the sky is purple. That’s how the press gets you riled up. It’s time to stop. They want you riled up and at odds with your neighbor; it’s news. It’s job security.
This was not news. News should be about life-altering events. Kim Kardashian getting engaged did not change my life, so it’s not news. Robert Griffin III wearing a sleeve does not keep me up all night, pondering the mysteries of the universe. Do I think it’s cool? Of course I do, along with millions of other people. Still not news, though. I can personally attest to the integrity of this young man, meeting him during training camp. He was the last one off the field, signing autographs and taking pictures, every day of training camp. In an age where people’s signatures draw money on eBay, it’s rare to see someone so giving. My brother met Evander Holyfield in an elevator in Atlantic City a while ago and my brother asked for his autograph. Evander politely declined, stating that he only gives his autograph to children in fear of seeing it sold on eBay. My brother did, in fact, get his autograph but only after offering to fight him for it and making Evander laugh. It wouldn’t have altered my brother’s life not getting that autograph. It was just something cool to have. Proof of a fleeting moment of importance that someone we like, see on TV or follow on Twitter, is actually human. We are making these people more unattainable by our actions or reactions. More people are being stalked or harrassed and it just has to stop.
We all need to live by the edict of throwing stones at glass houses or don’t go ghost hunting with skeletons in your own closet. The world would be a better place. We are heading toward ‘The Hunger Games’ in a bad way, people. I got off topic. So to answer the question originally asked: Yes I saw the article. And I’m sorry I read it because it’s ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back.