Tag Archives: Robert Griffin III

Ethics Dunce: Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III And Any Other Celebrity Who Has Somebody Other Than The Celebrity Send Out Social Media Messages In His Or HerName


I’m really sick of the “an intern did it” or ” a low level employee did it” explanation when a social media tweet, re-tweet, “like” or message goes wrong and causes an uproar that causes trouble for a celebrity or politician. It’s your name, the person sending the message is your employee and agent who you have authorized to communicate in your name. For the purposes of social media, they are you. Take your medicine, be accountable, own what “you” say online, or get off social media. It’s really as simple as that.

Robert Griffin III is the central figure of a pro football drama that many of those outside of Washington, D.C. or, better yet, those who recognize that pro football is ethics rot put in colorful uniforms to maim minds and and make money every Sunday for more than half the year. Once an NFL rookie of the year, a blooming super-star black quarterback in a majority black city, and the lord of all he surveyed, RGIII, as he is almost exclusively called locally, has fallen far, brought low by bad coaching, injuries, and his own hubris. His one great advantage has been the Skins’ owner’s infatuation with him, as Croesus-like Daniel Snyder runs his franchise like Fantasy league team, and also into the ground.

So how does “RGIII,” a.k.a. the anonymous kid who sends out his tweets and other messages when the star is busy doing what young millionaires do, decide is a great is a great way to show his loyalty to his patron and the man who pays his salary? “He” likes a post from an angry fan that features the hashtag, #inpeachdansnyder.

RGIII, recognizing that this was an especially bad time to tick off his guardian billionaire (he had just been benched by the Redskins’ coach), sent out his own, genuine, reallyreallyreally what he thinks post blaming his intern:

@rgiii I just wanted to set the record straight on this one. I did not “like” that IG post ridiculing our team. I have not been social media active consistently for awhile now and am ultra-focused on working to get back on the field and trying to help this team. One of our interns who helps with Instagram liked the post. As soon as I was made aware of it, it was immediately unliked. That is not how I feel and I appreciate your understanding.

No, actually “you” did like that post, Mr. Star. And if you have “not been social media active,” stop paying someone you obviously don’t supervise to keep you socially media active.

I’m glad they benched you.

(At least Donald Trump makes his own offensive tweets.)


Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Sports, The Internet, Workplace

The T-Rex Escapes: Lessons Of The Washington Redskins’ Nepotism

I can’t exactly say, like Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malacolm in “Jurassic Park,” that I hate being right all the time…in part because I’m not. It sure is frustrating, however, to see an ethics crisis looming, write about it once, then twice, and still see so many people surprised when it arrives like an angry T-Rex. Thus today, I began the morning by pounding my head against the wall to read in the Washington Post sports section a column by Jason Reid with the headline, “Mike Shanahan, by hiring his son Kyle, has created an untenable situation.” Wait, what year is this? Shanahan, the coach of the Washington Redskins, that team with the name that we’re not supposed to say, hired his son Kyle as the team’s offensive coordinator many moons ago, in 2010. It was a terrible idea at the time, an example of classic nepotism that created an immediate risk of exactly what is occurring now, and perhaps the certainty of it, if the situation endured long enough.

Last season, when the Redskins swept to the NFC East Championship behind thrilling rookie QB Robert Griffin III, the ethics-challenged sports fandom here (Washington, D.C., remember) cited the success as proof that nepotism is an ethics boogie man, nothing more. This was pure consequentialism. As I concluded my post on the topic last January,

“This is rank consequentialism in its worst form. Nepotism is an unethical way to run any staff, company, team, business or government, unfair, inherently conflicted, irresponsible, dangerous and corrupting. It should be recognized as such from the beginning, and rejected, not retroactively justified if it “works.”I’m sure there were and are non-relatives of the Redskins coach who could have devised a successful offense with RG3 taking the hikes. The ethical thing to do was to find them and give one of them the job. The Redskins coach’s nepotism is just as unethical in 2013 as it was in 2012, 2011, and 2010.”

In “Jurassic Park,” the same day that chaotician Malcolm warns that the dinosaur park is so complex that a fatal loss of control is inevitable, the systems break down and he gets nearly gets eaten. The same year I wrote those words, ten months later, it’s Mike Shanahan on the menu as Jason Reid wrote these: Continue reading


Filed under Business & Commercial, Family, Leadership, Love, Sports

Robert Griffin III, Wally Pipp, and the Catch-22 of Lies

Dan Wetzel would have loved Wally Pipp

Dan Wetzel would have loved Wally Pipp

If you want to see the stark difference between the culture of baseball and the culture of football. look no further than Washington, D.C., where the city’s sports fans are in mourning for the second time in barely three months’ time. The surging Redskins just met play-off elimination, because their young star quarterback was injured but allowed to stay in the game. Back in October, the city’s new sports darlings, baseball’s Nationals, were eliminated in their first play-off round, in part, fans believe, because the team wouldn’t let its completely healthy young star pitcher play for fear that he would get injured.

This week everyone from my local sandwich shop proprietor to the driver of the cab I just got out of is furious  at Redskins coach Mike Shanahan for allowing the obviously hobbled Robert Griffin III to stay in the doomed game against the Seattle Seahawks when there was a competent back-up on the bench. And some, like Yahoo! sportswriter Dan Wetzel, are blaming Griffin, for “lying”:

“Robert Griffin III couldn’t do much of anything Sunday except lie, which is what he’s been trained to do in situations like this.
Lie to himself that he can still deliver like no backup could. Lie to his coach that this was nothing big. Lie to the doctors who tried to assess him in the swirl of a playoff sideline. So Robert Griffin III lied, which is to be excused because this is a sport that rewards toughness in the face of common sense, a culture that celebrates the warrior who is willing to leave everything on the field, a business that believes such lies are part of the road to greatness.” Continue reading


Filed under Character, History, Leadership, Sports