After injuring his ankle in Sunday’s game, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III made his way – aided by crutches – to address a pool of reporters. When he approached the microphone, however, at least a few keen observers noticed a clear difference in his appearance compared to just moments prior.
RGIII, before and during his press conference. Something changed! (via @JPFinlayCSN) pic.twitter.com/P2wGzZ69GN
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) September 15, 2014
As evident in a Twitter post by sports writer Dan Steinberg, Griffin turned his T-shirt inside out before greeting reporters, obscuring the Christian message in the process.
Comcast SportsNet writer J.P. Finlay reported the Redskins star was ordered to flip the shirt over by NFLM Uniform Inspector Tony McGee, ostensibly because it was not a Nike product.
McGee told Griffin he couldn’t wear the shirt because it wasn’t a Nike product. Made him turn it inside out for the press conference.
— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) September 14, 2014
Tellingly, however, at least one other player, Ryan Kerrigan, addressed reporters in a shirt obviously not manufactured by the brand.
Plenty of Twitter users responded with disbelief over reports suggesting Griffin had been targeted for his Christian beliefs.
@RGIII if I had to wear my shirt inside out for an interview because it had Jesus' name on it I wouldn't do the interview.
— Crew Cohoes (@cohoescrew) September 15, 2014
What a crazy/sad world we live in. RGIII was forced to turn his shirt inside out cause it had Jesus on it. #messedup pic.twitter.com/WwvvJsAnQU
— P. Hughes (@PeytonHugh35) September 15, 2014
I wouldn't have turned my shirt inside out if I was RGIII. I can't express my love for Christ then y'all ain't gotta hear me talk.
— Mýa (@myaiam) September 15, 2014
Several comments focused on the perceived incongruity between the reception of Michael Sam, the league’s first openly gay player, and outspoken Christians in the NFL.
So NFL player Michael Sam can kiss another man on national tv, but RGIII has to turn his shirt inside out…. pic.twitter.com/tubf7YX7Ig
— Outcastro (@ThaDopeHope) September 15, 2014
A team spokesperson has reportedly since asserted that Griffin voluntarily turned the shirt inside out to ensure he did not acquire any fines from the league for wearing unauthorized apparel.
In any case, the conversation sparked by this incident has likely ensured the shirt’s message, “Know Jesus Know Peace,” will reach a wider audience than if he had simply worn it as intended during the press conference.
H/T: The Blaze
Photo Credit: Twitter/Dan Steinberg
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.