Donovan McNabb publicly shared advice for Robert Griffin III, and now he’s being criticized for being critical. McNabb clarified that he intended his comments as affectionate mentorship, but Griffin feels insulted. Most people are siding with Griffin, saying McNabb should have advised Griffin privately, not in an interview with a major newspaper.
McNabb’s criticism addressed Griffin’s conduct more than his gameplay. He says Griffin is spending too much time on advertisements and endorsements, giving too many press conferences, and generally focusing on self-promotion when he should be knuckling down in training. He has a point: many young athletes burn out in the limelight.
On the other hand, isn’t it hypocritical and arrogant to offer these opinions in a widely read, attention-getting interview? I’m not so sure. As fans and analysts, we feel free to criticize players, often with brutal personal attacks. But when a public figure like McNabb makes gentle suggestions to a player he admires, we say he’s mean and out of line. When McNabb put his opinions on the record, Griffin wasn’t the only person who heard them. Now, Redskins fans can hold Griffin accountable if his extracurricular activities leave him underprepared on the field.
You can contact Sarah Rasher on Twitter @pas_dechat