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.
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