Sometimes the truth hurts. The truth can be salacious, and it can be controversial. But in the case of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, telling the truth at times doesn’t seem worth all the trouble it brings him. Primarily because nearly every word he says, can and will be turned into headline news.
Many equate RGIII’s honesty with arrogance. Because in today’s NFL honesty is the exception and not the rule. That’s why true honesty from a player or coach tends to catch people off guard. And instead of valuing the honesty for what it is, people start to believe that being vague or untruthful is the right thing, and honesty is the wrong thing.
When a team performs badly, as a team member you can’t acknowledge it, for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. You say something along the lines of “We’re not as good as we’d hoped to be”, or “We need to work harder”, or “We need to get better”.
A kind of generic nonsense, anything besides being construed as calling out a teammate or a coach. You see instead of calling attention to what a teammate did wrong, the proper etiquette is to blame yourself, even if you don’t deserve it.
But Robert Griffin III is the type of person who will answer a question truthfully to the best of his ability. Even if it rubs people the wrong way. It’s just how he’s wired. Where as many in the NFL have become masters of saying what I like to call “a whole bunch of nothing”, Robert Griffin III seems to have a hard time doing that.
Is RGIII arrogant? Yes, but I think the really good NFL quarterbacks do have a certain arrogance to them. It’s part of what makes them good at what they do. But after the game is where you have to turn the arrogance off. Because even the perception of arrogance in a press conference can cause some people to paint you as a villain.
I don’t think Robert Griffin III is a villain. I just think he’s a bit naïve when it comes to dealing with the media. The media claims they want honest answers, but when you give them honest answers, they use your honesty against you. So unfortunately, for the sake of team chemistry, I think it’s time for RGIII to stop being honest, and start saying a whole bunch of nothing.