Oh Randy Moss…

January 29, 2008


This past week, Randy Moss of the New England Patriots was wrapped in controversy. A Florida woman had accused him of battery. This year has not been a controversial one for Randy Moss but this appeared to be his first blemish. For the most part, the typical response of athletes or organizations that are facing legal troubles is to release a written statement to the press. But the Patriot’s wide receiver decided to take a new route: He surrounded himself with reporters and answered as many questions as they could dish out.

I think that this was a poor choice for the Patriot’s PR department. Moss has gotten into trouble in the past and when he played in Minnesota he also had trouble with saying the wrong things. Allowing Moss to answer all these questions about a battery charge in an informal setting was a recipe for disaster. One wrong question could have led to an outburst and a distraction for a team that was preparing for an AFC Championship game. Moss’ saving grace was that he seemed fully prepared to handle any questions. I don’t know if he had been coached on what to say but from the looks of the interview his answers seemed more from the heart than from a talking points card.

         After listening to the whole interview and reading about it from local news reporters in the area, Moss seemed to be totally honest in his responses and fully believed that he did nothing wrong. This situation came out well for Moss and the Patriots but this was still a public relations blunder. Athletes these days seem to get into trouble every week and the best course of action would be to withhold them from media scrutiny so they don’t make the situation worse. Like many high-profile athletes in the NFL, Moss did not finish college and perhaps college was only a way to get into the NFL. The reason that I bring this up is that I feel like these athletes that do not finish college seem to be less articulate and when they speak to the media about something other than their sport they talk themselves into corners and get taken advantage of.

         In my opinion, public relations experts should always be wary of letting athletes speak publicly about criminal charges brought against them. There is too much risk of the situation getting out of hand to justify the reward of the athlete seeming approachable.

Here is Boston Globe reporter Jackie MacMullan’s report on the situation: http://www.boston.com/sports/articles/2008/01/17/it_had_been_all_positive/  


One Response to “Oh Randy Moss…”

  1. ggonerka said

    I like your view on how the situation should have been handled. I agree that although it seems an honest and productive way of dealing with a situation it could definitely lead to disaster quickly, no matter how prepared he is.
    To be honest, your comment about how athletes that don’t finish college tend to be less articulate was a little harsh; (I would hate to be one of those athletes and reading this)however, I see your point. But I would consider next time not generalizing to only college drop out athletes. I’m sure there are plenty of professional athletes that did finish college that are just as likely to say the wrong thing under pressure.
    Anyway, interesting story.

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