It was only a matter of time before SI’s Grant Cohn pushed a little too hard. A lot of fans like his approach. Many, however, find it annoying.
Cohn has a reporting style that is unique. Some say it is honest reporting, and nothing more. Yet some say Cohn is gaslighting and only saying or writing the things he communicates in order to receive more attention, and gain more readers and followers, thus leading to more story clicks and YouTube views.
Most people respect reporters who speak or write the truth. Fans don’t need watered-down reports that hide facts, in an effort to stay on the team’s good side. But some believe Cohn takes things a little too far. He has been known to make sarcastic statements about players’ injury histories, calling players a bust (even within the athlete’s first season), and making many statements that demean players.
There’s a line between reporting the truth and belittling people. Perhaps Cohn has lost sight of that line. Regardless, he has a large following of fans who love what he does, as well as how he does it.
Since Cohn has been covering the San Francisco 49ers, there have been players for the team who have grown weary of Cohn’s rude form of reporting. There have been players he has targeted more than others, usually high draft picks who haven’t yet panned out. Players like Arik Armstead (in his early seasons), Solomon Thomas, Dante Pettis, Mike McGlinchey, Javon Kinlaw, and Aaron Banks, just to name a few.
Cohn himself has mentioned that players like Deebo Samuel, and Pettis, a former 49ers wide receiver, have blocked him on Twitter.
On Tuesday, one of those players decided to let Cohn know he had had enough. After the team’s second OTA practice was complete, Cohn posted a video suggesting Javon Kinlaw, the defensive tackle who has been the brunt of many Cohn remarks, was a little too aggressive with him during practice, standing over Cohn, making contact with him, and knocking his hat off his head. Kinlaw, according to Cohn, was later rapping derogatory terms while staring at him.
Later that evening, Kinlaw requested to be allowed as a guest on Cohn’s YouTube livestream. What happened next was chaos, as Kinlaw made it known that Cohn needed to be more respectful in how he spoke of the third-year player. The video, as you can imagine, was all over Twitter that night and the next day. Even TMZ reported on it.
Everyone seemed to have an opinion. That includes a handful of NFL players who seemed to not only want to take a stand against the beat writer but also express disdain for a certain comment made by Cohn, who said, “So like I wasn’t scared I was just surprised that he crossed the line, because honestly if he touched me, if he pushed me, dude I could have retired today. That’s what went through my mind. I’m like, ‘oh damn, I’m about to retire I’m about to be out of the game. I’m about to be a multi-millionaire, thanks to Javon Kinlaw, ‘but no I gotta keep working. “
That statement seems to have especially rubbed the players the wrong way, as professional athletes are sometimes targets of people who are trying to get rich or trying to take that player down. And while Kinlaw probably took it too far, players spoke out against the 49ers beat writer.
Here are the NFL players who spoke out against Cohn on Wednesday:
“This is the type of low life we let into our building. He would rather antagonize and provoke players into hitting him so he can retire instead of doing his ‘job’ of journalism.”
This is the type of low life we let into our building. He would rather antagonize and provoke players into hitting him so he can retire instead of doing his “job” of journalism. pic.twitter.com/jL5ZGTq8yZ
– Arik Armstead (@arikarmstead) May 25, 2022
“It’s crazy to me that someone who is allowed into our building has the mindset / goal to antagonize and irritate players with their endgame of being this. I thought players and reporters were supposed to work together. Being in this building, let alone this league , is an opportunity, it’s not a right.People get really comfortable typing behind a screen! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but continuing to go after a player habitually seems like someone whose goal isn’t to report or write a story. ”
“It needed to be said podcast coming soon !!”
“We’re always told journalists and reporters have a job to do. Ok, understood. But this ??! He admitted ‘retirement’ as a ‘multi-millionaire’ went through his mind. THIS is unacceptable, @NFL @ 49ers. ..This ain’t ‘game’. This is unacceptable. “
– Raheem Mostert (@ RMos_8Ball) May 25, 2022
“The faithful can arrange an early retirement if the fan base boycotts your low effort shit posting you call journalism.”
“people talking about the kinlaw stuff like they’ve had to sit through malicious articles and comments being made about them in the media … TUH! since this is going over a lot of your heads … im not saying anyone was wrong or right in how they handled anything. all im saying is you dont know what it feels like to be under that much scrutiny and how it can affect you. “
people talking about the kinlaw stuff like they’ve had to sit through malicious articles and comments being made about them in the media U TUH!
– dante (@ dmainy_13) May 25, 2022
since this is going over a lot of your heads… im not saying anyone was wrong or right in how they handled anything. all im saying is you dont know what it feels like to be under that much scrutiny and how it can affect you
– dante (@ dmainy_13) May 25, 2022
“Lmfao..crazy how players become the bad guy for standing up for themselves. Media / social media has a huge influence on players narratives. Allowing anyone to speak on your name with no accountability for what they say.”
Lmfao..crazy how players become the bad guy for standing up for themselves. Media / social media has a huge influence on players narratives. Allowing anyone to speak on your name with no accountability for what they say. https://t.co/9UjKAkNwXo
– Jaquiski ‘Quaski’ Tartt (@quaski) May 25, 2022
“NAH FR ….. | BEEN HAD TO BLOCK GRANT AHHH HE DO THE MOST FR.”
“If you gone say some bout somebody stand on that shit. Don’t backpedal and start playing victim.”
A consistent negative, disrespectful, and demeaning tone to players and their craft. Like we are animals. Then talks about “game” to antagonize a player enough so he can sue him? The 49ers / NFL should protect us better. ”
A consistent negative, disrespectful, and demeaning tone to players and their craft. Like we are animals. Then talks about “game” to antagonize a player enough so he can sue him? We shouldn’t have to answer to media of this level. The 49ers / NFL should protect us better. https://t.co/QQVrX4Rjua
– Solomon Thomas (@ SollyThomas90) May 25, 2022
Why would you listen to this guy he’s an antagonist that has zero knowledge on the game of football. He is a low-life person that enjoys hiding behind the status of reporter, so he can mock players on a skill that he has absolutely zero knowledge of, to gain status in this world. Praying on the downfall of people to gain for himself. Faithful please boycott this bum he literally knows nothing about the game and only wants to attack people’s reputation. ”
Cohn did say that he and Kinlaw both met with John Lynch on Wednesday evening. He said they cleared the air and things are better. Kinlaw, however, does not seem to agree.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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