WASHINGTON — Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland is having an expressive week on Twitter, and it is becoming more and more apparent that he doesn’t care anymore.
He doesn’t care if fans don’t like his rap video (but he retweets those who do like it). He doesn’t care that Scot McCloughan is the elephant in the room at Redskins Park (or who is signing his checks).
It would appear that all he cares about in 2017 is being real with his fans, his emotions and himself. This might be the emotional equivalent of a baby-faced wrestler turning heel:
It’s interesting that Breeland is embracing the flak after he spent last season (here, here, here and here), or even in recent days, arguing with Twitter critics. Breeland has consistently engaged with those who criticize his skills, so why the change of heart?
Fortunately, Breeland shed a little light on his new approach. Unfortunately, it may not be a new approach at all:
Let’s leave any comparisons between Breeland and President Donald Trump to someone else, but the way that they handle adversity is somewhat similar.
Trump uses his Twitter account as a platform to publicly call out critics and defend himself. If Breeland sees this as the new normal–or some sort of vindication–don’t expect the mercurial cornerback to change his Twitter ways.
However Breeland wants to interact with fans is his decision, but he should consider two bits of advice from his own Twitter timeline. Let’s start with a tweet from February 12:
Pro athletes forget that sometimes they are popular because they are pro athletes. While he may have fans and followers for other reasons, the vast majority of followers are here because of what Breeland does on Sundays.
That means that–fair or not–most people see his tweets through the Redskins lens unless he explicitly states otherwise. If he wants to avoid confusion, don’t leave pointed or controversial tweets open for interpretation. Additionally, don’t subtweet Redskins management with thoughts on the former general manager. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it undermines any argument that he doesn’t tweet about the team.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, there is only one way to stay out of the public conversation. This is a tweet from the wee hours of the morning on Saturday:
Breeland won’t have an opportunity to improve his stock as a football player until Training Camp, at the earliest. No amount of arguing with critics will help. If he truly wants to keep his cool in 2017, this is probably the best advice he could follow.