Cleveland Browns TE Evan Moore Attacks Writer For “Irresponsible Journalism” on Twitter

 

This past weekend, I would write an opinion column, “2012 NFL Draft : Why The Possibility Of Taking Stanford TE Coby Fleener At #22 Is Bad News For Cleveland Browns TE Evan Moore”, a piece on why the Cleveland Browns may look at Fleener due to the recent success of the New England Patriots in using two tight end sets during their Super Bowl XLIV run in 2012.

 

Shortly after the article was posted, I would receive a response via Twitter from Browns tight end, Evan Moore himself.

Twitter
Was just forwarded your article. I won’t be a free agent until 2014 and played in all 16 games last yr without a single injury.
Direct message sent by Evan Moore (@evanmoore89) to you (@RobertCobb_76) on Apr 07, 1:50 AM.
evanmoore89
Evan Moore
Twitter
This is probably why you have only 300 followers. Be responsible and do your research before speaking abt someone in a public forum.
Direct message sent by Evan Moore (@evanmoore89) to you (@RobertCobb_76) on Apr 07, 1:50 AM.

 

Twitter
I don’t usually reach out to writers but speaking irresponsibly abt injuries is just that: irresponsible journalism.
Direct message sent by Evan Moore (@evanmoore89) to you (@RobertCobb_76) on Apr 07, 1:55 AM.

 

Moore would go on to refute what I had written calling it “irresponsible journalism” and that I needed to “do your research before speaking about someone in a public forum”

 

While I can understand Moore’s frustration that my article may have hit home on a sub-conscious level, his method in responding with three inappropriate direct messages was out of line.

 

Like Moore, I do not normally respond to hate mail or to critics in a column, but when one of my columns is called “irresponsible” I felt that a proper rebuttal was needed.

 

It is not “irresponsible journalism” when it is both common knowledge and fact that Moore—who has the potential to be a impact player in Cleveland—has had issues in staying fully healthy.

 

I will concede that I made one error in incorrectly stating that he will be a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season, which I did correct and change to 2013-14, but to go after me in the way and manner(via direct message, when I could not properly offer a response) was not only un-wise, but also unprofessional.

 

I’m actually a big supporter of Moore and have wrote at length on how he has the potential—and talent—of becoming the Browns version of Antonio Gates on a column in Rant Sports last year, but after Moore’s comments—and the lack of Twitter followers that I have—that may change.

 

As a journalist, I was merely stating an opinion—which is protected by the First Amendment—that did not in anyway slander or disparage Mr. Moore and his various on-field accomplishments in Cleveland, and I wish him a very productive and healthy year in 2012-13.

 

I would also wish that the next time Moore accuses another writer or blogger of writing something “irresponsible” that he would look in the mirror before responding.

 

Follow me on Twitter, @RobertCobb_76



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  • Steven Resnick

    Way too go Robert, I have a feeling that the two of you might have a sit down to air it all out.

    • Robert D. Cobb

      steven,

      Thanks for the love, appreciate it!

  • Lars Hanson

    I didn’t notice this story until Steven shared it on Facebook. I went back and read your original article that Evan questioned, and then read this article and I have to say this. This is a business. It’s just how it works. Some people will absolutely love what you have to say and others will completely slam you for it and you just have to let it roll of your shoulders.

    It happens day in and day out in the sports journalism world. Let’s say a beat writer or columnist asks a tough question that gets rubbed the wrong way by a manager (baseball). He writes it up and the next day the manager doesn’t like it. He’ll either let him know verbally or through body language. Two days later he’ll like a different column written by the same writer. It’s just the way it goes.

    The injuries are always incredibly hard to comment on but the free agent part he was correct about as you said in this article.

    The way in which Evan responded was actually completely fine in all honesty. A direct message in your Twitter which would only have been known between you and Evan was the best way to go about it compared to open twitter response, commenting on the article and etc.

    The only problem I have is the fact that in your article you made it personal. Evan took the article personal, and in your rebuttal you made a personal statement moving forward which isn’t really the greatest thing in the world but it’s your opinion and we have to respect that.

    In reality it’s exactly like what Jalen Rose, Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith were talking about on first take Wednesday. Write the hard topics, get the hard responses. Just take it in let it go.

    • Robert D. Cobb

      Lars,

      thank you for your feedback and response, and you are correct that this is a business, some people will like your stuff, others will not and as I stated, I don’t usually respond to a critic on NFL player, but clearly there must have been something that I said that really irked him, in that area, there is nothing I can do or say, and in reference to his use of DM, i couldn’t respond back in a appropriate manner, and he is not the first Browns player that has said something to me. I’m over it now, and really just wanted to get my side out there, as I felt that I had that right, he and I can both disagree respectfully, as you and i can at times. Thanks again.

      • Lars Hanson

        Rob,

        Exactly there’s no denying that. Well I haven’t spoken to Evan I can tell you right now what set him off. “Cleveland who would ink the 6’6, 250-pound Moore to a two-year $6 million dollar contract extension that runs through the 2013-14 season, may already be prepared for life after Moore—and possibly Watson—in selecting Cameron out of USC in the 2011 NFL Draft.”

        Mainly the maybe already be prepared for like after Moore. Meaning he’s not in the plans moving forward. While I doubt you meant it in this way Evan took that as a personal attack on him, and ultimately his livelihood. When a player who has had his fair share of injuries during his career has someone say the team he’s currently with is preparing or already prepared to move on without him, that’s gonna set him off 10/10 times.

        • Robert D. Cobb

          Lars,

          Thank you again for the response, and as I stated in the article and even in the title, it is all a possibility, one thing that I did not put in my piece, nor rebuttal was that he has had injury issues since ’05, and up until last year, has never played a full season. I would like to give you great credit for saying that the NFL is a business, a violent, stats-driven league that demands production, contracts aren’t guaranteed and if you don’t produce you’re let go. It sucks, and while my intent was not malicious nor slanderous, the truth hurts.

          • Lars Hanson

            Exactly, and that just made my point. It’s a hard, tough league to play in and for someone to have consistent injuries through a long stretch of time and then come in last year and play all 16 games and then have someone write that the club their with could already be moving on (truthfully or not) would piss me off.

  • Robert D. Cobb

    AJ,

    Thanks for the feedback, and while you have your opinion, I will state that I had a really hard time in writing this rebuttal/response. First off, i have the greatest respect in the world for Mr. Moore and while his talent on the field is not in question, something in my Fleener piece must have really struck a nerve for him to respond in the way he did, which he is entitled to, but when i was not able to properly respond and stand by my column, that is when and why i took action. As I said in my reply, it is not irresponsible journalism, when the facts are clear as black and white.

    Personally, we can agree to disagree on the fact that he was ‘half right’, if he is “half right” then is he half wrong to go after a blogger, when other writers have written various topics similar to mine as well? What made me stand out from all the rest?

    In terms of privacy and the sending of private messages via Twitter, may i suggest two things, Tony Grossi and the NFL Social Media policy. Then get back to me.

    And one last thing, I have no problem when one player or fan says something about my columns, and this is not about me being upset, it’s about being professional and replying in a open and public form,( and mind you there were a bunch of choice words, that I could have chosen to say, which I didn’t, and is what’s considered being a professional) when the subject in question could not do the same. Fact. End.

  • Games

    I thought the same thing Evan did when I first read your article. It’s just poor logic. At first I thought I was reading an article from bleacherreport, but then I saw that there is a good chance that rant.com actually pays you and I thought “gee, that’s nice. I’m glad even writers like this guy are finding work in a tough economy”. If anything, drafting Fleener would more likely spell trouble for veteran Ben Watson, who is older on a young rebuilding team and wasn’t just signed to a long-term contract last year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge Evan Moore fan and I think he really needs to distinguish himself as a blocker before he can be used appropriately. But I wouldn’t make that the headline of my story about draft speculation.

    • Robert D. Cobb

      Games,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I’am sorry that you feel that this B/R, but you are sadly mistaken, as Rant Sports prides itself on providing unique and thoughtful content. Moving on, the intent of the piece was an opinion column on why the Browns MIGHT take Fleener as the Pats used two athletic tight ends this past season and started a trend. Both Watson and Moore are due to become FA’s in 13-14 and with the Browns drafting Jordan Cameron out of USC, there might be the possibility of them considering Fleener.

      As I said in my piece, I’m a fan of Moore and wish him the very best in 12-13, and if he can stay fully healthy, he will be the breakout and dominant red-zone weapon that the Browns desperately need.

  • Robert D. Cobb

    Adam,

    That is not the intent of this story, just a response to Mr. Moore’s comments to me.

  • Robert D. Cobb

    Thanks for the feedback, I will keep that in mind next time.

  • Todd V

    I rarely comment on blogs, but this one really stuck out to me. Evan clearly had an emotional response to your article and I would argue that he is, at least, partially justified in his comments. However, to say that by responding to you directly rather that posting his comments publicly was unprofessional, well that seems a bit backward to me.

    Had he ripped you publicly, that MIGHT have been unprofessional. Then to say that you didn’t have a proper channel for rebuttal? What are you talking about? You have the bully pulpit – you started the conversation in the public space. Had he said something about you in the public space and you were unable to respond that would be different. He is the one showing restraint.

    • Robert D. Cobb

      Todd,

      Thanks for the feedback, and to properly respond is that while Mr. Moore did indeed have a emotional response, the reason why I stated that was because I could respond back via DM, since I’m a follower of his, but he does not follow me) As I stated in my column, I do not normally respond openly at all to critics or NFL players and normally let things slide. I have no bully pulpit whatsoever, as he is the professional athlete that responded to a opinion piece from a blogger such as myself, whether it was emotional or not was indeed out of line.

      As I said, I was merely writing a opinion piece, that had facts to support it and he chose to respond in the manner he did, is on him, not me. And on a personal note, I’m a fan of his, and wish him well.

  • JS

    do you even know what bully pulpit means?