I’ve always respected Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. I find his articles insightful, funny, and I enjoy reading someone who quotes Seinfeld as much as I do. However, I do feel the need to speak out about his story on Aaron Rodgers and Jan Cavanaugh because it genuinely bothers me.
For those of you who don’t know the story, you can google the video. The Green Bay Packers are passing by in the airport. Aaron Rodgers, with headphones in and staring straight ahead, ignores on-lookers and goes about his business. However, one of the onlookers happened to be decked out in pink Packers clothes. She holds out a hat to be signed and Rodgers continues on past her.
Florio goes on a tirade in his article about respecting the people who pay their salary, mentioning how it should be mandatory for all players to sign an item for a fan or two.
He goes on to say: “The fact that Rodgers would crap on a rare moment of happiness for someone whose entire life in consumed by fighting the disease and contending with the physical, mental, and emotional effects of it should make the stomach churn of anyone who has cancer, or who has seen a loved one stricken by it.” Apparently, Florio believes that Rodgers was “treating a cancer patient like a panhandler with leprosy” [which I think is sensationalism and much more insulting than not signing a hat, making a joke out of the situation and seemingly almost trying to make the poor woman feel worse].
This article is just an unwarranted attack, in my opinion. I’ve never met Aaron. For all I know, Florio could be correct and Rodgers may be a complete jerk. I believe he is correct in assessing that you see a person’s true colors when no one is watching. Except the cameras were rolling, otherwise none of us would have seen the video to begin with. Also, it’s not like he made eye contact with her and scoffed as he walked by. You could tell he deliberately closed himself off to that straight path to avoid interruptions from any fan. It’s not as if he looked at her and ran away after seeing she was a cancer victim. While she did appear to be a person possibly fighting cancer, I’m quite sure the NFL does not have a prerequisite of proving you have cancer in order to purchase pink team-related apparel.
To say that the video “should make my stomach turn” is unfair, as well. While I’d rather not make a listing, I have had many loved ones, both family and friends, suffer and still suffer from cancer and the effects of its treatments. So only if I have truly have felt the pain of seeing family and friends with cancer would I be sickened by the video?
I’m sorry that the woman was unable to get her hat signed by Rodgers. I would be disappointed, too. I’m sure Aaron wasn’t planning on signing anything, and that non-cancer patients would have been disappointed as well. It’s one thing for Florio to make the argument that players should sign things for fans, but to make it about cancer is irresponsible, in my opinion.
Now, I’m not calling for a boycott or anything remotely similar. I’ll still check and read Pro Football Talk 11+ times a day. I just had to get this off my chest.
[Here's the link: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/16/aaron-rodgers-has-a-lot-to-learn-about-where-his-money-comes-from/]