Griffin often uses the site well. He tweeted welcomes to Washington’s draft picks last month and frequently pumps up fans with motivational tweets about working hard and the team. If he wants to speak his mind about potentially divisive issues, he must be accepting of the consequences. And if he wants to perpetuate a perception of his humility, he at least should stop retweeting others’ compliments. Thanking them more privately requires a simple click on a different part of his screen.
Starting a charity also should be high on his list. This offseason is the perfect time for Griffin to establish roots here as a community servant. He’s lagging in that area, at least publicly, behind Russell Wilson, his 2012 Rookie of the Year challenger. Wilson is a national ambassador for the CR3 Diabetes Association, a cause dear to him because complications from the disease killed his father three years ago.
Griffin raised $33,000 in 15 minutes for the American Cancer Society earlier this month simply by autographing a pair of cleats and posing for 18 pictures. What a fine start. He could have an immeasurable impact on, say, military children and veterans here, in his childhood home of Central Texas and nationally.
Another important step begins Thursday, when Griffin is scheduled to meet with media who regularly cover the team. It’s the first such session on team property since Griffin was hurt in Washington’s playoff loss to Seattle on Jan. 6.
Griffin might not always shine in his tweets, but he almost always does in person. He knows he’s a star, he knows he’s a great athlete and he knows people love him — that has always been clear — but that does not detract from the warmth and authenticity with which he interacts with people.
He is a kind person who doesn’t flaunt his status to those physically near him. That is the genesis of his reputation for being humble. To experience that on a regular basis, as the public did last season because of his media availability, would restore perception of him as a grounded star athlete.
More specifically, how Griffin’s media session plays out Thursday will help determine whether the lollipops and rainbows of his rookie season are still in place. He’ll encounter a local media corps that hasn’t had much offseason access and is armed with a litany of questions about his right knee injury and rehabilitation.
Such are the burdens of fame, fortune and youth in the public eye. More money, more problems, indeed.
He can make all of this a minor footnote by increasing his awareness and taking a few easy steps. It’s certainly not too late. If not, those who don’t like it will just have to deal with it.