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Volume 26 No. 203
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Did NFL Take Advantage Of Shaquem Griffin During Draft?

Seahawks draft pick Shaquem Griffin and his twin brother Shaquill during the NFL Draft were "exploited by those people the family trusted to have the Griffin's best interests in mind," according to Chris Hays of the ORLANDO SENTINEL, who writes under the header, "NFL Should Be Ashamed Of How It Handled Shaquem Griffin Story." The NFL-playing brothers were "taken advantage of by their own agent Buddy Baker." They were "paraded around AT&T Stadium by the NFL as part of a carnival-like, dog-and-pony show" so that the league could "improve their monotonous draft coverage." As Shaquem on Friday night "paced back and forth in the green room behind the draft stage," NFL execs were "licking their chops thinking about what the slight meant for Saturday's ratings" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/1). BLEACHER REPORT's Mike Freeman wrote the NFL "knew the chances of Griffin being drafted high were practically zero, yet it still invited him to the league's green room, where cameras constantly showed him, and his incredible story was told repeatedly." As Griffin waited, his story was "told over and over." Freeman: "It's not that Griffin wasn't going to be drafted. That was always going to happen ... It's that the NFL always knew there was no way Griffin was going to be drafted in the first three rounds, when the cameras are there." The same way the league "uses our love of patriotism, the military and the police to manipulate us, it used Griffin's presence in that green room." What happened to Griffin is "typical of how the NFL views the unknown -- and how it used Griffin to boost its image" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 4/28).

SHAQ ATTACK: Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said of Shaquem Griffin, “He’s going to be a guy that we’re all rooting for, and he’s going to be one of the most popular players in the NFL. He already is. There’s going to be interest in this. Think about the mainstream appeal, think about the attention the NFL is going to get. It’s almost like, from the NFL’s perspective, the 180-degree opposite of Michael Sam. Michael Sam brought a lot of mainstream attention that I don't think the NFL really wanted, and that's more of a judgment on the NFL and where they were four years ago, not where they should be because it should have been a positive. It wasn't viewed as a positive. Shaquem Griffin is viewed as a positive” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 5/1).