Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bloggers Can't Have Their Cake And Then Bite The Hand That Feeds Them

 At the time this article was published, the foregoing belief on Twitter was the Anthony's Smith's Twitter Jail time was due to being reported (in fact, as I learned this halfway through writing the article and included this information).  Soon after it was published, we learned that Smith was auto-banned due to tweeting too much in a time period.

I included an immediate post-script acknowledging this, and said I would republish the article with the information corrected.  I removed three instances claiming that "somebody reported Smith" to the Twitter, as well as my firm belief that Alex had nothing to do with it.

I have included the original article in the comment section of this one.

 **************************************************************************

If there was no other reason to plead with the players and owners to settle the work stoppage and get everyone back to football, tonight's blowup between CheeseheadTV's Alex Tallitsch and Green Bay Packer Anthony Smith left many heads shaking.

In short:  Smith, the boisterous and confident tweeter, decided to spend much of Saturday afternoon coming up with his own responses to the trending hashtag #fourwordsaftersex, apparently offering many of his own off-color one-liners while interacting with other Tweeters who were doing the same thing.

Tallitsch, longtime Packer blogger, took umbrage to seeing a Packer representing the Green and Gold with street-alley humor and told Smith straight out he didn't like it.  This set off a war of words between the two, resulting in Smith's pre-emptive block of Tallistch's Twitter account before Tallitsch could unfollow Smith.

Now, I know Alex.  And I am fortunate enough to have shared a beer with him.  Alex was one of our original hosts of Cheesehead Radio last year and is an incredible talent.  There's a reason that he has 6,700 followers on Twitter and has tweeted 22,000 times.  He has a passionate following among Packer bloggers, and it is well-deserved. He has also aired his displeasure with Anthony Smith several times on his blog, so no one should have been too surprised when he took exception to some below-the-belt humor from Smith.

I also had the pleasure of having Anthony Smith on Cheesehead Radio last week.  He's a boisterous personality, a Packer, and a Super Bowl Champion.  Now, mind you, after he publicly announced pre-show that everyone should "loosen their jocks and panties" for the show, I was half-expecting to be censoring out a couple of words post-show to avoid a "Mature" rating on iTunes.  On the contrary, Smith was a total professional (if not a gentleman) on the show and gave a great interview.

There's a lot of emotions and "stances" on this issue.  Should Packers be squeaky-clean at all times when they are in the public eye?  Should fans judge players on their personalities or based on their play on the field?  Does Smith have his First Amendment rights to free speech?  Likewise, does Alex have those same rights, too?

All of the questions are worthy ones, and all can be debated.  But, I want to address the one that weighs most on my mind:   his #fourwordsaftersex brainstorming session--that while offensive to many, was no different from hundreds of thousands of other Tweeters who regularly post offensive subject matter to trending topics.

I mean, there's a reason it was a trending topic, and it wasn't Anthony Smith that started it.  Now, maybe Smith crossed a line that a professional football player shouldn't, but under normal circumstances, that would be Aaron Popkey's job to supervise and discuss it with players that are getting a little too jiggy with their tweets.

But Alex's actions in how he handled Popkey's job in lieu of the lockout has repercussions for all bloggers.  You see, what's happened in the last year or so, especially for Packer bloggers, has been nothing short of revolutionary.

Last year at this time, while being a part of the also-revolutionary Packer Transplant Blogcasts, Aaron Nagler and Corey Behnke often called for the credentialing of bloggers, so that we would have the same access to players and coaches that professional journalists do.  It was a rather radical idea, not one that endeared bloggers to media writers, who justifiably protected that perk from the start-ups that wanted equal access.

But, with Nagler's persistence, several writers at CheeseheadTV were partially credentialed for the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.  Don't second-guess what Aaron and many other bloggers have fought for and how powerful it is in the evolution of sports coverage.  It's amazing.

But even Nagler's access in major market issues doesn't allow all of us bloggers being able to have locker room access after every training camp practice.  And when it comes down to it, being credentialed means you simply get the same access as the media...the same carefully worded responses to questions in press conferences, the same avoidance of bulletin board gunpowder.

Enter the next revolution:  Twitter.  Over the course of the season and subsequent offseason lockout, the number of ring-toting Packer players on the social network has boomed.  And what we're finding is that they aren't commercial or politically correct.  Some of them pick and choose what they send out into the Twittosphere, such as @AaronRodgers12, but many of them use Twitter as if it were their own text messaging service.

On any given day, you can see a conversation between @RyanGrant25 and @Quinn_Johnson45, or @JermichaelF88 and @stickyshields9 as they decide where they are going out to eat that night, or what they did the night before, or how/where they are working out over the offseason.  In many ways, this is the access, the public access, that allows all fans (and bloggers) access to the players we love.

But, it is uncensored.  It is untempered.  It's exactly what the media usually doesn't get to see and often doesn't report:  the guys being themselves, and sometimes, saying stuff they wouldn't say in an interview.  There's a reason we always have a Twitterverse segment during our Packer News on Cheesehead Radio:  many times it isn't even just a tweet from a Packer player or a fan, its a result of a conversation between a Packer player and a fan.

Last year at this time, I wouldn't have even imagined Cheesehead Radio being able to land a player on the show.  We simply didn't have access to them, as Nagler opined often last summer.  Now, we do, and as a result we've been lucky to have some great Packer players on the show in the last month:  Tom Crabtree, Daryn Colledge, and Smith.

As bloggers, we've gotten one of the greatest gifts we could have ever ask for:  insight into the daily lives and thoughts of the players we strive to write about, and often, actual interaction with them.  We are no longer solely dependent on media sources for what's going on.  We can get it from the players themselves, and if that isn't revolutionary, I don't know what is.

But we have to accept that not every Packer is a choir boy.  Smith has always been boisterous and not known for his personal filter before he speaks, but that is who he is.  Whether you believe he is a bubble player or a solid backup in 2011 is irrelevant.  He's a Packer, wearing Green and Gold.

Does that put him on some sort of higher plane than everyone else, meaning a Packer can get away with anything?  Of course not.  Just ask Fuzzy Thurston.  At the same time, I take issue with Smith being vilified for making the same kind of crass comments as hundreds of thousands of other tweeters, simply because he is a Packer. 

Sometimes we get a gift that is far more than we would have ever expected.  We go from 2010 and having no access to 2011 and seeing many Packer bloggers with credentials and all of us with Twitter "inside access" to the lives of the players we are passionate about.  The stupidest thing we can do is to bite the hand that feeds us and drive them off of Twitter because of the hassles they endure from the people that follow them.

As Tweeters, we have the option to follow or not to follow.  Mr Chang said it best: "I have no fantasy that football players are a bunch of boy scouts. That why I don't follow a lot on twitter. My Packer people are the fans"

Was Alex "wrong" to stand up for his beliefs?  No, but there are other ways to deal with it other than going directly on to Twitter and starting a real-time flame war.. Hey...as bloggers, we've been writing critical articles about players for years.  Perhaps that is the smarter venue to voice our concerns about a player, instead of engaging them toe-to-toe in a real-time public throwdown.

As a blogger, I value the access I have to the players through Twitter, even if Randall Cobb won't follow me back (hint, hint).  The reality of the situation is that players are human beings and not all of them will view wearing the Green and Gold in the same vein as wearing a purity ring, even if we think it should.

Did I find any entertainment value in Anthony's contributions to #fourwordsaftersex?  Nope.  I'm a parent, and take a lot of pride in making sure my blog and Cheesehead Radio are suitable for my kids to read and listen to. (Of course, they don't. *sigh*)  But my kids don't have Twitter and I don't let them read my Twitter, either.  So, in the end, I'm not worried about censoring my timeline from any no-no words because my kids aren't reading them, and in the end, that's who I worry most about.  Personally, I didn't find the entire #fourwordsaftersex hashtag entertaining, period, because that's not what makes me laugh.*

But that's no reason for me to become the Packer Police.  I have a choice, and it is to follow or unfollow, just as I have to make that decision with many other people whose tweets I may find irritating, offensive, boring, or just plain stupid.  Sometimes, the person who is irritating/offending/boring/stupefying me is someone whose tweets I highly value, and I live with some of the garbage between the tweets that I enjoy reading.

And I enjoy being a Packer blogger and reading the tweets of the players, and I want to keep it that way.  And when other Packers see their teammates getting hassled, they will once again start censoring themselves and limiting our access to them.

-----

*  What makes me laugh, if raunchy trending topics don't?  Jon Stewart, Wipeout, and old videos of my kids eating their first birthday cake.

18 comments:

foundinidaho said...

CD, you were very even handed with this, and I applaud you. I agree.

JR said...

I agree with a lot of that, but there is a difference between a Joe Beer Gut fan with 20 followers tweeting that and a public figure tweeting it. It does reflect poorly on the Packers and I would guess those in the Packers organization cringe at tweets like that. It may be the difference between him making the team and him not making it.

But you certainly make a good point regarding bloggers and their tenuous access to athletes. Nobody's going to go on Packer Transplants (for example) if they think they're going to get the 3rd degree. They go on shows like that to be adored and to give something to the fans who follow that blog.

Athletes always remember a slight, and they don't have any obligation to support your blog. It very easy for them to just walk away and encourage their friends on the team to do the same.

Technically Alex is right, but it like winning a fight with your wife. Even if you win...you lose. You've got to ask yourself if it's worth it.

C.D. Angeli said...

My dad always told me when I was ranting about the injustices I faced at work: "You know what? You're right. Dead right."

As I said, I don't disagree with Alex's beliefs. I disagree with how he chose to handle it. Taking his disagreement directly into the TwitFace of Smith in real-time was, as Wilde said, "a bit overboard".

And I noticed while Wilde stated he agreed with Tallitsch, he did not choose to publicly and directly call out Smith. Others can debate the "why"...I'm disagreeing with the "how".

Chezhdchick said...

Considering Nick Barnett has Tweeted the contents of his toilet, and what his flatulence smells like, in addition to being the guy that started the whole "photogate" Super Bowl distraction, and Darnell Dockett has Tweeted his encounters with and feelings for)the police, and don't even get me started on the stupidity that is Rashard Mendenhall's Twitter account, what Anthony Smith Tweeted was small potatoes. A bit crass, yes, but far too inconsequential to get that worked up about. Seriously. WTH?

Alex said...

Why would you want Anthony Smith supporting your blog anyway? He jokes about infidelity, spousal abuse, cheating, being degrading to women. If that's the type of guy you want to hang around to promote what you do on the side go ahead.

I wouldn't have that guy on a show if he paid me. I think he hurts the show, more than I hurt anything else.

As far as the how, it's Twitter. Your big argument is that Smith can say whatever he wants. So can I.

His stuff was classless coming from someone I rep and support. It's like watching someone getting robbed and not helping.

This whole thing is homerism.

C.D. Angeli said...

Okay, Alex. I have no personal grudge with you, as I hope you know. We're both bloggers, and we both do this on the side for our own personal enjoyment.

Let's review "rights"

* Anthony Smith has the right of free speech to say what he wants on Twitter.

* Alex Tallitsch has the right to express disagreement or disapproval with Anthony Smith on his blog or on Twitter.

* Alex Tallitsch has the right to express such disagreement directly to Smith in replies, direct messages, or email.

* Conversely, CD Angeli and anyone else has the right to express their disagreement or disapproval with Alex's opinions or his methodology.

Free speech works all around. I'm afraid that you're inching closer to the "Dixie Chicks" defense, where you call someone out publicly, then claim your rights are being infringed upon when other disagree with you. That's your right, too...but I will take serious issues if you choose to pose nude on the cover of a magazine next week with the word "censorship" painted on your body. :)

When it comes to CHR, though, I can't lie and say that he was a jackwagon on the show. He was professional, earnest, courteous, and a great interview.

The debate comes in whether or not people agree with your decision to take it directly to Smith, whether you have the right to pass judgement on others simply because they are a professional football player of a team that you like.

Hey...I'm a parent, am a member of a conservative church, and preach rules and morals to my kids all the time. Trust me...I could out-Wilde Wilde any day of the week if I chose to.

But for even Wilde's professed stamp of approval of your opinons Saturday night, he did not, and to my knowledge, has never gotten up in the twit-grill of a player to preach to them about his values and how they don't measure up.

Wilde may be the Wisconsin Jesus, but even Wisconsin Jesus knows where his bread is buttered, and knows that there are lines for him not to cross professionally, too. He stated as much when he said you went overboard.

You keep stating you have some interesting emails that you want to publish over at Packers Lounge, my guess to further erode at Smith's credibility. I say: go ahead. You've already posted disparaging opinions about him at the Lounge before, and that is totally within your rights. You've publicly disparaged him on Twitter while Al, Jayme, John, and I were conducting an interview with him on CHR and tweeting to invite people over to listen. Again, this is your right, and I support such a right to the ends of the earth, even if it robbed us of listeners.

But the intent of my article stands. I believe that as bloggers we need our players on Twitter to gain the access we can't get otherwise. I think that getting into Smith's grill was a step too far, as apparently does Wilde. I think the ramifications from the fallout of these actions.

I'm not saying you don't have the right to do so. I'm saying I don't like it. I'm saying I wish you had handled it differently. I'm saying that I don't want Smith going into the locker room and complaining that there's a bunch of Twitter trolls and the professional football players who've established relationships over the lockout start thinking it is too much hassle.

If you think his stuff is classless, you are more than welcome to that opinion. I won't fight you on it. I didn't find any of it funny. But, personally, its not my place to police the Packers' Twitter accounts and call them out. I'm a fan and an amateur writer, not their boss or their priest.

What would you do with any other employee of a business whose actions you disapprove of? Go to their manager. Or post it on Rate My Packers or something. But being a Packer fan doesn't give us the right to be their Twitter chaperone. You follow, or unfollow. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

I read blogs for information about my team. My interest is in my team, not the blogger. No reporter or blogger should BE the news.

PackersRS said...

Really, Alex? You disagree with other people, and the response is to say it's homerism if they don't take your stance?

You don't like the guy, don't follow him. To say he doesn't represent "packer people" is BS because "packer people" is BS. Like every player of the Packers represent some sacred ethics guidelines of which everyone has to follow. Guess what? Everyone has their own ethics. Some topics aren't just black and white, and this is the case.

Do I like Smith? No, I think he's an asshole. But did he rape anyone? Did he abuse anyone? NO. He merely joked about it. If you think that joking about it is such a big deal, that's fine, but don't make it as if everyone agrees with you.

I really don't care about PC. I think the intent of the message is much more important than the message itself. And there was no hate in what he said. And, no, just joking about it doesn't make it more acceptable.

C.D. Angeli said...

Below is the original text of the article, including the references to the then-believed notion that Smith had been reported to Twitter.

---

If there was no other reason to plead with the players and owners to settle the work stoppage and get everyone back to football, tonight's blowup between CheeseheadTV's Alex Tallitsch and Green Bay Packer Anthony Smith left many heads shaking.

In short: Smith, the boisterous and confident tweeter, decided to spend much of Saturday afternoon coming up with his own responses to the trending hashtag #fourwordsaftersex, apparently offering many of his own off-color one-liners while interacting with other Tweeters who were doing the same thing.

Tallitsch, longtime Packer blogger, took umbrage to seeing a Packer representing the Green and Gold with street-alley humor and told Smith straight out he didn't like it. This set off a war of words between the two, resulting in Smith's pre-emptive block of Tallistch's Twitter account before Tallitsch could unfollow Smith.

Now, I know Alex. And I am fortunate enough to have shared a beer with him. Alex was one of our original hosts of Cheesehead Radio last year and is an incredible talent. There's a reason that he has 6,700 followers on Twitter and has tweeted 22,000 times. He has a passionate following among Packer bloggers, and it is well-deserved. He has also aired his displeasure with Anthony Smith several times on his blog, so no one should have been too surprised when he took exception to some below-the-belt humor from Smith.

I also had the pleasure of having Anthony Smith on Cheesehead Radio last week. He's a boisterous personality, a Packer, and a Super Bowl Champion. Now, mind you, after he publicly announced pre-show that everyone should "loosen their jocks and panties" for the show, I was half-expecting to be censoring out a couple of words post-show to avoid a "Mature" rating on iTunes. On the contrary, Smith was a total professional (if not a gentleman) on the show and gave a great interview.

C.D. Angeli said...

There's a lot of emotions and "stances" on this issue. Should Packers be squeaky-clean at all times when they are in the public eye? Should fans judge players on their personalities or based on their play on the field? Does Smith have his First Amendment rights to free speech? Likewise, does Alex have those same rights, too?

All of the questions are worthy ones, and all can be debated. But, I want to address the one that weighs most on my mind, especially when I found out that Anthony Smith was temporarily banned from Twitter based on his #fourwordsaftersex brainstorming session--that while offensive to many, was no different from hundreds of thousands of other Tweeters who regularly post offensive subject matter to trending topics.**

I mean, there's a reason it was a trending topic, and it wasn't Anthony Smith that started it. Now, maybe Smith crossed a line that a professional football player shouldn't, but under normal circumstances, that would be Aaron Popkey's job to supervise and discuss it with players that are getting a little too jiggy with their tweets.

But Alex's actions in how he handled Popkey's job in lieu of the lockout has repercussions for all bloggers. You see, what's happened in the last year or so, especially for Packer bloggers, has been nothing short of revolutionary.

Last year at this time, while being a part of the also-revolutionary Packer Transplant Blogcasts, Aaron Nagler and Corey Behnke often called for the credentialing of bloggers, so that we would have the same access to players and coaches that professional journalists do. It was a rather radical idea, not one that endeared bloggers to media writers, who justifiably protected that perk from the start-ups that wanted equal access.

But, with Nagler's persistence, several writers at CheeseheadTV were partially credentialed for the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft. Don't second-guess what Aaron and many other bloggers have fought for and how powerful it is in the evolution of sports coverage. It's amazing.

But even Nagler's access in major market issues doesn't allow all of us bloggers being able to have locker room access after every training camp practice. And when it comes down to it, being credentialed means you simply get the same access as the media...the same carefully worded responses to questions in press conferences, the same avoidance of bulletin board gunpowder.

C.D. Angeli said...

Enter the next revolution: Twitter. Over the course of the season and subsequent offseason lockout, the number of ring-toting Packer players on the social network has boomed. And what we're finding is that they aren't commercial or politically correct. Some of them pick and choose what they send out into the Twittosphere, such as @AaronRodgers12, but many of them use Twitter as if it were their own text messaging service.

On any given day, you can see a conversation between @RyanGrant25 and @Quinn_Johnson45, or @JermichaelF88 and @stickyshields9 as they decide where they are going out to eat that night, or what they did the night before, or how/where they are working out over the offseason. In many ways, this is the access, the public access, that allows all fans (and bloggers) access to the players we love.

But, it is uncensored. It is untempered. It's exactly what the media usually doesn't get to see and often doesn't report: the guys being themselves, and sometimes, saying stuff they wouldn't say in an interview. There's a reason we always have a Twitterverse segment during our Packer News on Cheesehead Radio: many times it isn't even just a tweet from a Packer player or a fan, its a result of a conversation between a Packer player and a fan.

Last year at this time, I wouldn't have even imagined Cheesehead Radio being able to land a player on the show. We simply didn't have access to them, as Nagler opined often last summer. Now, we do, and as a result we've been lucky to have some great Packer players on the show in the last month: Tom Crabtree, Daryn Colledge, and Smith.

As bloggers, we've gotten one of the greatest gifts we could have ever ask for: insight into the daily lives and thoughts of the players we strive to write about, and often, actual interaction with them. We are no longer solely dependent on media sources for what's going on. We can get it from the players themselves, and if that isn't revolutionary, I don't know what is.

But we have to accept that not every Packer is a choir boy. Smith has always been boisterous and not known for his personal filter before he speaks, but that is who he is. Whether you believe he is a bubble player or a solid backup in 2011 is irrelevant. He's a Packer, wearing Green and Gold.

C.D. Angeli said...

Does that put him on some sort of higher plane than everyone else, meaning a Packer can get away with anything? Of course not. Just ask Fuzzy Thurston. At the same time, I take issue with Smith ending up in Twitter Jail for making the same kind of crass comments as hundreds of thousands of other tweeters, simply because he is a Packer. Alex has insisted he did not report Smith to Twitter, and I believe him. But someone did...because he is a Packer.**

Sometimes we get a gift that is far more than we would have ever expected. We go from 2010 and having no access to 2011 and seeing many Packer bloggers with credentials and all of us with Twitter "inside access" to the lives of the players we are passionate about. The stupidest thing we can do is to bite the hand that feeds us and drive them off of Twitter because of the hassles they endure from the people that follow them.

As Tweeters, we have the option to follow or not to follow. Mr Chang said it best: "I have no fantasy that football players are a bunch of boy scouts. That why I don't follow a lot on twitter. My Packer people are the fans"

Was Alex "wrong" to stand up for his beliefs? No, but there are other ways to deal with it other than going directly on to Twitter and starting a real-time flame war that ends up with a Packer player getting banned. Hey...as bloggers, we've been writing critical articles about players for years. Perhaps that is the smarter venue to voice our concerns about a player, instead of engaging them toe-to-toe in a real-time public throwdown.

As a blogger, I value the access I have to the players through Twitter, even if Randall Cobb won't follow me back (hint, hint). The reality of the situation is that players are human beings and not all of them will view wearing the Green and Gold in the same vein as wearing a purity ring, even if we think it should.

Did I find any entertainment value in Anthony's contributions to #fourwordsaftersex? Nope. I'm a parent, and take a lot of pride in making sure my blog and Cheesehead Radio are suitable for my kids to read and listen to. (Of course, they don't. *sigh*) But my kids don't have Twitter and I don't let them read my Twitter, either. So, in the end, I'm not worried about censoring my timeline from any no-no words because my kids aren't reading them, and in the end, that's who I worry most about. Personally, I didn't find the entire #fourwordsaftersex hashtag entertaining, period, because that's not what makes me laugh.*

C.D. Angeli said...

But that's no reason for me to become the Packer Police. I have a choice, and it is to follow or unfollow, just as I have to make that decision with many other people whose tweets I may find irritating, offensive, boring, or just plain stupid. Sometimes, the person who is irritating/offending/boring/stupefying me is someone whose tweets I highly value, and I live with some of the garbage between the tweets that I enjoy reading.

And I enjoy being a Packer blogger and reading the tweets of the players, and I want to keep it that way. And when other Packers see their teammates getting hassled, they will once again start censoring themselves and limiting our access to them.

-----

* What makes me laugh, if raunchy trending topics don't? Jon Stewart, Wipeout, and old videos of my kids eating their first birthday cake.

** Postscript: Alex noted that he believes that Smith was auto-banned based on tweeting too much in a time period, not because he was reported (as was originally postulated on Twitter). While I never insinuated that Alex did any actual reporting, if I get confirmation that it was an auto-ban, I will edit the article appropriately with a post-script.

RichWardJr said...

It frustrates the hell out of me when people resort to mud-flinging, name-calling and down right vehemence when there is a disagreement. It's why I hate everything that has to do with politics. You belive this, okay. I believe that, also OKAY...Or it should be. Respectfully disagree. Alex does not do that, nor has he ever. I respect his work and his stance, but dammnit these sharades are disappointing. CD, well done on the article and even more so on the insightful comments following Alex's response. Thank you for reminding us what it is to "respecftully disagree." I will continue to read all of the great Packer blogs, because I come to you all for exactly what you bring: entertainment, insight, laughs, winces, etc. Thank you PackerNation for being some of the most passionate fans in the world.

RichWardJr said...

I don't mean to condemn his stance, not at all...just the way he went about it and the reaction when others disagreed with him. And the vehemence I was referring to also includes a large number of Packer fans on Twitter, etc. Some of the responses to Alex, especially on Twitter, have been simply outrageous. No one deserves that. There are no winners here...

Lauren Fernandez said...

You're right. Not all of our players are choir boys. They aren't going to be perfect, nor do I want our team to turn into the Cowboys. (Yes, I'm from Texas, so I can make that quip ;) ) But, here's a big point I feel we are missing in this:

I work in the social media/PR space, and you represent your company, not just yourself, on social mediums. Personal and professional are not separated, even if you try. Everyday I get on these platforms, I am representing not only my agency, but my clients as well. There are things you just don't talk about. Our team is built upon character. Remember how so many hated when Woodson was brought on because of his attitude? Look at how the Pack locker room changed him.

I'd be curious to see the Packers contract and what they state about speech and how to conduct yourself in public. Free speech is different dependent on the contractual language.

I don't believe that a professional athlete should be able to tweet whatever the eff he wants. He reflects an organization, an organization that many of us are shareholders of. It influences not only public perception, but fan perception as well. My friends in the Pack organization were definitely cringing at the tweets, but couldn't do anything about it because of the lockout. Think of all of the social media fiascos because brands have put their foot in their collective mouths. Consumers criticize brands all the time when they fail in SM. It doesn't surprise me when fans do it to players of their team.

Players and their team are one in the same. Everytime they put on that jersey, or tweet, or go out in public, they represent the Packers.

Granted, Smith was on IR and I'd be hard pressed to find the average fan who even knows who he is. If this was Rodgers who said things such as this, it'd be all over the place - I mean, he was blasted for supposedly "ignoring a fan" after the NFC Championship.

Was what Smith said totally wrong and inappropriate? Absolutely, in my mind. I was disgusted. His whole rant about "hate speech" against him was so hypocritical it made me cringe. But I think the second issue is the perception of the Packers brand. I'd say the same thing if he was a Bears player.

For some that are supporting him, I gotta agree with Alex here - doubtful that they would say the same if he didn't play for our team. I use play loosely, because he really is just there as somewhat of depth at DB. :)

Lauren

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Franklin Hillside said...

Lauren Fernandez for the win.