In 2012 Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and was the second overall draft pick by the Washington Redskins. He went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in the NFL. Now, just three short years later, he has been demoted from starting quarterback, and is fighting for the backup position. Other than his $16.1 million guaranteed contract, these are hard times for RG3.
Griffin just made things even harder. Early Tuesday morning, he took to Instagram to explain his earlier post that hit “like” on a fan’s post that trashed Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Griffin said an intern who controls his Instagram account was responsible. “I just wanted to set the record straight on this one,” he wrote. “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 our 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.”
In his defense, Griffin has only made a handful of posts on both Instagram and Twitter over the past month. But that’s not much of a defense. It’s tough to believe an intern would be responsible for something that could damage RG3’s image with the click of a button. And it fits his past, as he has made a bad habit of posting things destructive to his team and his personal image.
Mike Greenberg, host of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, commented on the situation. “This is like someone complaining that they were misquoted in their autobiography.” While Griffin’s explanation is not implausible, neither does it go far enough. He should have posted, “While I did not personally hit ‘like,’ it is my personal account, which means I am fully responsible and fully to blame.” The mistake most of us make is not that we don’t accept blame for our actions, but that we don’t accept total blame.
To take partial responsibility is to take no responsibility. Since Adam blamed “the woman you [God] gave me” for his sin, we have been trying the same trick. It didn’t work for Adam, it doesn’t work for RG3, and it won’t work for you. Until we learn to say “I’m wrong” followed by a period rather than a comma, we will never know the freedom of forgiveness and cleansing. I like RG3. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Houston Texans uniform. But what matters most is what is going on inside the uniform.