WATCH: Takkarist McKinley NOT thrilled with media presence during OTAs
Falcons fans are having flashbacks of Marshawn Lynch’s infamous “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” interview after defensive end Takkarist McKinley did not seem too enthused with the media over the weekend. After he joined the Falcons for OTAs, the media had a few questions about how he was feeling and how he thought practice was going. His response? Just one word—“good.”
The second-year player from UCLA has had 13 sacks over his first two seasons. He is definitely an asset to the team in terms of skill, but in terms of star power and community engagement and interaction—maybe not. After Atlanta Falcons beat writer for AJC, D. Orlando Ledbetter tweeted Clause 4 of the NFL Player Contract that states, “Player will cooperate with the news media, and will participate upon request in reasonable activities to promote the Club and the League,” McKinley responded with this:
He clearly spent more time writing that tweet than he did formulating answers to the reasonable questions reporters asked of him at the press conference.
There are multiple angles to look at regarding this situation. Some people will say McKinley was well within his rights as an NFL Player to respond to questions in the way he did. Others will argue that press conferences and interacting with the media are part of the job, meaning that his responses are unacceptable. There is also validity to both angles—everyone has a hard day at work every once in a while. Whether fans like it or not, McKinley’s job is to play in the NFL and there will be difficult days.
On the flip side, these NFL players should show the highest level of grace and respect. People, fans, children all look up to these players—the least they could do is give thoughtful and informative responses to questions regardless of whether or not the practice is optional or mandatory.