ESPN was looking to conduct a “secret character study” on New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that would be aired at some point this weekend. Obviously, the popular sports network didn’t want Vilma to find out about the segment, but that plan fell through quickly after one of Vilma’s former teammates spilled the beans on Twitter.
Barry Abrams of ESPN approached Eric Barton with the hope he would chat with them about Vilma since the two players used to be teammates during part of their stint with the New York Jets a few years ago. Instead of assisting with the study, Barton posted a photo of the letter from Abrams on his Twitter account, so Vilma found out about it quickly.
Vilma has every reason in the world to be frustrated with ESPN, but this move was completely uncalled-for on Barton’s end. Abrams was just trying to do his job and because of Barton’s actions, his email address and phone number were leaked to hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter, which most likely made his Wednesday fun to deal with.
Barton needs to be a professional in this type of situation and instead of posting the photo on Twitter, he should have just declined the request for the interview and tell Vilma about it later on.
As far as ESPN is concerned, don’t expect them to land an interview with Vilma over the bounty scandal anytime soon.
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