Aaron Donald sponsored media appearance included PR rep’s effort to block questions about helmet incident – NBC Sports

Aaron Donald sponsored media appearance included PR rep's effort to block questions about helmet incident - NBC Sports

Getty Images

Six days after an incident that made Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald the talk of the league, Donald did not want to talk about the incident.

He went on a media tour on Wednesday to promote a product. It is simple something for something. The player submits to an interview, with the understanding that he will have an opportunity to promote his product.

Usually, there is no effort to limit the topic of the interview part of the questions. Sometimes there is. Sometimes the interviewer will comply. Sometimes the interviewer will politely explain that the questions need to be asked. Sometimes the interviewer will simply cancel the interview because, frankly, it is inappropriate for anyone being interviewed to try to apply restrictions on the topics to be discussed.

Donald’s appearances included a spot with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio. In a highly unusual move, a PR person actually interrupted the segment after Gelb asked one too many questions about LA’s joint practice helmet-swinging spat with the Bengals.

Here is the excerpt in question.

Gelb: “What happened last week in joint practices, because we all saw the video of you waving helmets? And people were wondering, what’s going on there?”

Donald: “It was just practice. Obviously, people took out phones and things like that. But I’m not going to sit around and talk about negative things that happened at practice. My main focus is Buffalo.”

Gelb: “Was there some kind of internal punishment?”

Donald: “We talked. We talked, so. . . .”

Gelb: “Did you think maybe you’d get suspended or anything?”

PR person: “Hey Zach, we’re just going to focus here because Aaron is here today to talk about [product we have no compulsion to mention]. So you have two more minutes, if you want to pivot to your last question please.”

Gelb then tried, to his credit, to ask one more question about the incident. He asked what started the fight. Donald cleverly twisted it into a pitch for his product. And that was that.

It is unfortunate. Donald ultimately faced no real responsibility for engaging in inherently dangerous behavior. The league inexplicably couldn’t suspend him, and the Rams predictably wouldn’t. Then, while on a paid media tour that included the ability to interview him in exchange for giving him the opportunity to sell the product, Donald would not answer simple questions about what made him blow a fuse so violently and shockingly.

He should have canceled or postponed the media tour. He certainly doesn’t need the money. He certainly doesn’t need the headache.

Then again, neither did the guy who had a football helmet violently struck against the football helmet he wore last Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.