I’m a big fan of Jon Gruden. I liked him as a coach and I like him even more as a broadcaster. The job he does on Monday Night Football is second to none. His passion for the game is so much a part of who he is, that I can’t help but go along for the ride and absorb some of that same passion every time he’s on camera. But, providing analysis on the 1st round of the 2016 NFL Draft Thursday Night, he said something that hit me the wrong way and has stuck with me all day long, though I didn’t know why. Talking about Laremy Tunsil being busted on Twitter for smoking weed through a gas mask, Gruden said, “If you’re a young kid out there, put away your Twitter accounts if you want to be a pro football player.”
CBS Sports posted an article about this Friday Morning and once I read it, I realized exactly why I didn’t like what he had to say. He blamed the social media platform instead of the responsible party. Twitter didn’t make Laremy Tunsil smoke weed. Twitter didn’t film it. Twitter didn’t even post about it on Twitter.
Blaming Twitter for Laremy Tunsil getting busted for smoking weed is akin to blaming DOTD for a drunk driving accident. I mean after all, if the road wasn’t there, the accident wouldn’t have happened… Right? Thirty one guys were drafted last night. Twenty nine of them have twitter accounts. I looked it up. Leonard Floyd of the Bears and Vernon Butler of the Panthers are the only two who do not. So if Twitter is to blame, how is it that twenty eight other guys managed to dodge that bullet? Maybe because the blame should begin and end with the responsible party, Laremy Tunsil.
Tunsil said his Twitter was hacked, but he would have needed to post it there in order for the hack to be fruitful. He would have had to film, or know he was being filmed smoking weed. And lest we not forget, he was the one who was smoking weed in the first place. How is it that Jon Gruden didn’t see anything wrong with this picture until social media entered the equation? Twitter was, at best, Tunsil’s third mistake in that incident. As it turns out, Tunsil found himself facing much tougher questions before the night was through; namely about receiving rent payments from his coach, but on this, I feel that Jon Gruden completely missed the point.
I’m still a Jon Gruden fan. He’s too infectious for me not to be. And to be fair, he followed those comments by saying that Tunsil has shown himself to be less than reliable on numerous occasions. But to lead with the idea that social media is to blame in any form equates to, “it’s not that you did it. It’s that you got caught.