Josh Rosen and vague questions about his character because he’s too smart, too opinionated, or interested in other things besides football are gonna be the gift that keeps on giving. Now, we have a media squabble between Dave Zirin of Edge of Sports, and Bill Simmons, with the Ringer. The dispute started with Zirin “quoting” a podcast where Mike Lombardi appeared on the Ringer NFL Podcast after the Combine, and discussed Josh Rosen.
Dave Zirin initially sent a tweet that said:
“Mike Lombardi said of Josh Rosen: ‘He has to decide whether he wants to be a humanitarian or football player.’ Why?”
Zirin has since deleted that original tweet, since it did not actually correctly quote Lombardi. He then sent this one:
That prompted this response from Simmons on the correction:
Here’s what Michael Lombardi actually said on Rosen in response to a question about whether Rosen’s appearance at the Combine helped him:
“I don’t know if he did [help himself]. I think to me, what I’m hearing was, it was okay, I think he’s gonna have to prove it. He’s coming back saying he loves football. You know, I’ve talked to some people who hear he might like humanitarian work more than football. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t know where his values really lie.”
So, if you are keeping score, Zirin should not have put quotes around something that wasn’t an actual quote (and he deleted it after posting), and Lombardi did the whole “I’m not saying, just saying” thing in regard to Josh Rosen in regard to humanitarian work. Nothing wrong with that and all, just sayin’.
For what it’s worth, the NFL gives out awards for humanitarian work and J.J. Watt was widely lauded for all the money he raised for hurricane victims in Houston. The NFL decision makers that Lombardi talks to should definitely mark those red flags.