WASHINGTON — A media flare-up between Robert Griffin III and Santana Moss has turned ugly, drudging up old, dirty memories; not just between former Redskins teammates, but between reporters covering the team at the time.
In a Monday appearance with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, Moss accused Griffin of openly gloating about former head coach Mike Shanahan’s 2013 firing, suggesting the ex-Redskins QB took credit for the coach’s dismissal.
“Basically saying that you got me out of here not playing last year, the last few games,” Moss recalled. “Then that’s what happens. You get fired.”
Tuesday afternoon, Griffin returned fire on Twitter, accusing Moss of “betrayal” for openly lying about him.
“No subtweeting needed,” Griffin wrote. “Santana Moss, I treat you like a brother and have always had your back. To openly lie about me is a betrayal…..”
Griffin described being put in an “impossible situation” with a coach “who never wanted me.”
“Some so desperately want me to fit this negative narrative that has been pushed about me,” he added. “But I don’t fit it. Never have. Never will.”
This led to an online bickering match between a longtime Redskins beat reporter, Mike Jones of The Washington Post, and Britt McHenry, a former ESPN reporter with roots in D.C. sports media.
McHenry took the opportunity Tuesday to rehash an old report of hers for ESPN, in which she detailed, during a Nov. 2014 media availability session in the Redskins locker room, Griffin was interrupted by “shouting” teammates while addressing media. Their shouting, McHenry explained, was a sign that Griffin had “alienated himself” from the rest of the locker room.
McHenry’s reporting was coupled online with a story from NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who reported at the time that the decision by the Redskins — who were 3-5 heading into a Week 9 game against the Vikings (which they lost) — to start Robert Griffin III over Colt McCoy against Minnesota came from above (current Redskins coach) Jay Gruden’s head.
A number of local Redskins reporters — who were also on the scene — refuted McHenry’s characterization of the locker-room shouting incident, calling it inaccurate. Dianna Russini — then with WRC-TV (Washington, D.C.), now with ESPN — indicated the players, in actuality, were messing with Redskins PR executive Tony Wyllie (of “No Means No!” fame, from the week prior).
Several national voices — notably, Michael Wilbon and Mike Freeman — defended McHenry’s reporting. Gruden dismissed it as “amateurish.”
This devolved into what can best be described as an online pissing match with some — perhaps regrettable — deleted tweets.
And, here we are, in Sept. 2017, watching this same old dispute crop up again like it’s 2014!
Maybe we can all try again for peace in another three years!