RGIII on blocking out the critics

August 27, 2013
(Nick Wass/Associated Press)
(Nick Wass/Associated Press)

I usually don’t have a lot of patience for athletes who talk about their critics and detractors and naysayers and haters, because hahaha, that’s sports. Maybe it’s a little different with Robert Griffin III, though, because a rapacious nation seems to await his every sentence — nay, his every word –  desperately gnawing on each syllable and character, exchanging blows over who might first lap up a spare marketable phrase, and then belching out rancid dissatisfaction with a single misplaced accent aigu.

Or whatever.

Anyhow, Chris Cooley was interviewing his former teammate on ESPN 980 Monday afternoon (audio here), and near the end of their conversation, he asked Griffin how he deals with what has seemed like a steady stream of mini-pseudo-controversies and Twitter outrage.

I mean, I do exercise the block button,” Griffin responded. “I try not to see any negative. Any time I see something negative, I just block that person so I don’t have to see it anymore. It is tough, especially this offseason. This offseason’s been crazy, not only with how much stuff’s going on in my life off the field, but also with [football developments].

“It is tough to sit there and continue to be yourself to the media,” Griffin continued. “I’ll never change towards my teammates, I’ll never change towards the organization, but it’s hard to sit there and just be yourself around the media when they want to take what you say and put it against you sometimes.

“But it’s a mental decision I have to make,” he concluded. “And I just feel like I can’t change who I am, no matter what people are gonna do to try to tear me down.So that’s what you’ve just got to do. And look at you — you’ve been yourself through your whole career, and people love you for it.”

Griffin also talked with ESPN 980′s Kevin Sheehan on Monday; Sheehan asked what the quarterback likes best about playing football in this market.

“It’s the great thing and the bad thing: there’s gonna be a lot of press when you play here, no matter what you do,” he answered. “That’s what I learned over the offseason: wedding registries and everything — everything’s gonna get blown up and made a story out of, anything you say is gonna be dissected. That’s just how it is. But at the same time, when you’re successful here, a lot of people take notice and they took notice last year, and that’s what we want for these fans, we want them to be happy, we want the city to be happy.

Interestingly, one of Griffin’s teammates had expressed somewhat similar thoughts earlier in the day. Santana Moss appeared on the NFL Network early Monday morning, where my pal LaVar Arrington asked him about the recent RGIII maelstrom.

“I honestly think it has been blown out of proportion,” Moss answered. “You know, RG, he’s a guy that, he knows well. And he’s gonna speak his opinion. He’s just one of those guys that he don’t know a lot how things can be twisted and turned. I think now he knows a lot of that, just dealing with some of the circumstances that he’s been dealing with.

“But he just spoke his opinion, spoke his mind, and they took it from there and went left with it,” Moss continued. “And when he realized that he said some things that he should have kept to himself, he went back and said hey, well you know, maybe this and that. And so I just feel like it’s been blown out of proportion. When you watch these guys around here, coach is the coach, he’s gonna call all the shots. And as players, we all listen to the head man, to the boss.

“So RG said some things, and they took it to wherever they took it,” Moss concluded. “And now all that’s behind us and we’re just trying to play ball.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | August 27, 2013