Minkah Fitzpatrick Digs Deeper Into Top 100 Snub: 'There's Always People That Are Going to Have That Type of Opinion'
PITTSBURGH -- The moment CBS Sports' Pete Prisco released his Top 100 NFL Players of 2020, complete madness reigned over Steelers Twitter.
The backlash of one Steeler - Minkah Fitzpatrick - not making the list led to an explosion of reactions Prisco might not have seen coming. So, to defend himself, he supported not having Fitzpatrick in the top 100 by naming two games; the Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins.
"I dare anybody out there, go back and watch Minkah Fitzpatrick against the Los Angeles Chargers and you tell me he's an elite safety the way he played in that game," Prisco said on CBS Sports HQ.
Prisco then proceeded to name San Fransisco 49ers' Jimmy Ward as a better safety in the NFL, which led to even more chaos from fans.
Even, the news got to Fitzpatrick, who responded in a quick and simple tweet.
Fitzpatrick then explained why he, a player who is not known to come back at the media, decided to give Prisco's list attention.
"Usually I don't be paying attention to the media stuff and this and that, because a lot of it is just opinion and everyone has bias and different stuff like that," Fitzpatrick told Bryant McFadden on CBS Sports HQ. "I seen it when it first came out and honestly, I laughed at it. Not in a disrespectful way, but I was just like 'whatever, he's entitled to his opinion. He thinks he's right,' and all this other stuff."
The Twitter mentions just so happened to reach the Steelers' safety at the right time. So, he decided he'd add his two cents to the mix.
"I was trying to get myself fired up, I was about to go workout right, and I was trying to get myself fired up," Fitzpatrick said. "And so I kept watching the video to help get myself hyped up for the workout, and get right and whatnot. Then, I was just like, 'you know what, I'm going to say something to him.' So I just responded. I really shouldn't have but it got my fired up, it worked."
Fitzpatrick told McFadden - a former Steelers cornerback - that he used to use people's words as "fuel" during his college playing days at Alabama.
Just as everyone saw in ESPN's 'Last Dance' documentary, Fitzpatrick takes the same approach Michael Jordan did when it comes to motivation through criticism.
"There's always people that are going to have that type of opinion," said Fitzpatrick. "Most of the great players in any profession, we just seen with the [Michael Jordan] documentary, how he used people's opinions and people's words against them. So I think sometimes it's beneficial just to use it as motivation. It's not beneficial to be looking at it all the time, letting them control your thoughts and your confidence, but I think it's beneficial to use it as fuel and motivation.
"At Alabama we would put quotes from the other team in our lockers. What they said about us, how they were going to beat us, roll us out, all this other stuff. It worked. Some of it might not even of been true, but it worked. If you're a competitor and somebody says something sideways about you, you're gonna want to go out there and prove it wrong."
He wasn't upset, though.
Instead, Fitzpatrick found more love for the Steelers fanbase as all of Steelers Nation rushed to their accounts to fire back on Prisco.
Over the last three days, the Twitter comments, TikToks and social media opinions have done nothing but grow stronger. Something Fitzpatrick has surely noticed.
"It makes me feel good that we have a strong fanbase," Fitzpatrick said. "They're honestly the best in the world, there's nothing really like it. The city of Pittsburgh lives and breathes sports. So seeing some of the comments that they were saying, I seen them had my back was big to me. It definitely meant a lot to me and that's why we go out there and play as hard as we do."