An email arrived in my inbox earlier this week that listed Jalen Hurts as the sixth-most trolled NFL player on Instagram.
Then, as if on cue, Dan Orlovsky’s comment about Hurts hit Twitter about 48 hours later: “If Jalen Hurts plays as well as he can, he can’t sniff as good as Carson Wentz is.”
There was more from Orlovsky on the matter:
“If the Eagles could go back right now and re-do that decision, I’m 100% convinced that they would not have taken Jalen Hurts.”
A new report from The Action Network revealed that Hurts received 34,380 negative posts from May 2020 through May 2021. Add two more thanks to Orlovsky.
The report analyzed negative social media posts mentioning top NFL players over the past 12 months, revealing the number of abusive posts and which stars are the biggest victims.
The Action Network compiled a list of the top-10 NFL players who were trolled the most on just Instagram.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady led the way.
Rounding out the top five were Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, L.A. Rams DT Aaron Donald, former New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, and free-agent cornerback Josh Norman.
Then came Hurts, who was followed by Derek Carr, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, and Aaron Rogers.
Wentz made the list at No. 13.
The email said that “The report has been released to help identify an issue faced within the sport. The NFL is a place for team spirit and a common love of the sport, and it’s a place where everyone should feel safe. This report will hopefully educate social media users and inspire people who do see abusive online behavior to take action.
“Further, as sports betting has increased in popularity in the U.S., there have been more instances of fans tweeting at players for mistakes that resulted in lost bets.”
“I think a lot of fans don’t realize that many players read everything, so they think that when they say something inappropriate or something they would never say to someone’s face, it isn’t meaningful,” The Action Network’s Darren Rovell. “Well, more often than not, it actually does get through. Just because pro athletes seem superhuman with their on-field skills, doesn’t mean they are superhuman incapable of being hurt emotionally.”
Further information on the topic can be found at:
As for Hurts, well, Orlovsky may be right on all counts and his comments seem to fall in line with what former coach Doug Pederson said earlier in the week about Hurts not begin drafted to take Wentz’s job.
Pederson’s implication was that Hurts was going to be developed into Wentz’s backup, which isn’t a cushy job considering the volume of injuries Wentz has dealt with in his career dating even back to his days at North Dakota State.
Still, Hurts was drafted to be a backup and he will now be thrust into a starting role, to sink or swim under the guidance of head coach Nick Sirianni, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, and QB coach Brian Johnson.
In the days before social media, Orlovsy’s comments would have been akin to a tree falling in a forest making no noise unless somebody is there to hear it.
When Twitter arrived in 2006 and was followed by a host of other social media platforms, such as Instagram, it somehow felt like it would be cool to interact with an athlete, except that interaction has often time become vicious.
During the OTAs, Eagles OT Andre Dillard talked about how he is no longer on any form of social media and WR Jalen Reagor is also weaning himself from social media.
“There’s good and bad on the Internet, but I’d rather not just be with it,” said Dillard. “I spent too much time on it. That’s really the case. It’s definitely helped me. It feels like I live a more simple life.
“I get up, go work, study, all that stuff, relax, read. Not once do I flip open my phone and just read stuff. I still get news, but nothing too crazy. It has helped me a lot, I think.”
Eagles WR coach Aaron Moorehead said that Reagor is being diligent about listening to voices inside the team’s building and within his family in an attempt to block out the noise on social media.
“[If] you start listening to everything, whether it's good or bad, it can affect you,” said Moorehead. “And that's not just Jalen [Reagor], that's every young player. They want to see their name on social media and they kind of get off on that. We all have egos, right? ... But in reality, you do your job to the best of your ability, and it all takes care of itself."
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.