People of the greater Washington D.C. area love Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. He could almost do nothing wrong and that’s typical of a fan base and their beloved athletes.
Griffin has recently received some flack for posting the tweet below of him lying on some boxes with a smirk on his face after receiving so many wedding gifts from his fans.
Thank you to the Fans who are helping buy ALL the items from our wedding registry at Bed Bath & Beyond … http://t.co/VM5BB2A1lE
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 19, 2013
Rich Campbell of the Washington Times believes Griffin didn’t handle the backlash in a classy way.
Campbell referenced the following tweets that Griffin posted:
Because you are rich you are not allowed to receive gifts and any gifts you receive should be donated to charity???? #WOW Smh…
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 20, 2013
Haters gon hate. Theme of the day. They always say more money more problems. Or mo' money mo' problems. Yea I'm cultured #DealWithIt
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 20, 2013
Campbell feels like Griffin lacks humility and I tend to agree with him. But should we expect someone as famous as Griffin to be humble? I don’t.
The thing is, is that Griffin is only 23 years old, he’s still very immature and that’s OK and that’s expected.
Campbell makes a great point by saying that the Redskins need to help Griffin clean up his image.
Limiting his exposure on Twitter is the starting point. The site can be extremely toxic when operated without the utmost awareness of how tweets might be interpreted. Griffin’s photo is the perfect example. Feedback is immediate and sometimes harsh, and whatever is published belongs to the web for eternity.
Griffin often uses the site well. He tweeted welcomes to Washington’s draft picks last month and frequently pumps up fans with motivational tweets about working hard and the team. If he wants to speak his mind about potentially divisive issues, he must be accepting of the consequences. And if he wants to perpetuate a perception of his humility, he at least should stop retweeting others’ compliments. Thanking them more privately requires a simple click on a different part of his screen.
Starting a charity also should be high on his list. This offseason is the perfect time for Griffin to establish roots here as a community servant. He’s lagging in that area, at least publicly, behind Russell Wilson, his 2012 Rookie of the Year challenger. Wilson is a national ambassador for the CR3 Diabetes Association, a cause dear to him because complications from the disease killed his father three years ago.
Griffin raised $33,000 in 15 minutes for the American Cancer Society earlier this month simply by autographing a pair of cleats and posing for 18 pictures. What a fine start. He could have an immeasurable impact on, say, military children and veterans here, in his childhood home of Central Texas and nationally.
Campbell says Griffin must meet with the media this week and continue to win them over.
Another important step begins Thursday, when Griffin is scheduled to meet with media who regularly cover the team. It’s the first such session on team property since Griffin was hurt in Washington’s playoff loss to Seattle on Jan. 6.
Griffin might not always shine in his tweets, but he almost always does in person. He knows he’s a star, he knows he’s a great athlete and he knows people love him — that has always been clear — but that does not detract from the warmth and authenticity with which he interacts with people.
He is a kind person who doesn’t flaunt his status to those physically near him. That is the genesis of his reputation for being humble. To experience that on a regular basis, as the public did last season because of his media availability, would restore perception of him as a grounded star athlete.
More specifically, how Griffin’s media session plays out Thursday will help determine whether the lollipops and rainbows of his rookie season are still in place. He’ll encounter a local media corps that hasn’t had much offseason access and is armed with a litany of questions about his right knee injury and rehabilitatio
At the end of the day, Griffin’s image will be fine, but I do agree he exposes himself too much on Twitter and will likely need to get off at some point.