Dianna Russini on the New York Jets Credit: Pardon My Take

NFL insider Dianna Russini became persona non grata with New York Jets fans after she reported a piece at The Athletic along with Zack Rosenblatt detailing the toxic culture in the organization earlier this year. But Russini believes any Jets fan coming after her over her reporting need to get their heads out of the sand.

Discussing the backlash to her article in an interview on Pardon My Take released this week, Russini argued that Jets fans are simply in denial.

“I think Jets fans are in denial. They want to call people liars because they don’t want to believe that it’s that bad, that the culture is that awful,” Russini said. “So don’t blame the team, blame the reports that uncovered all of this.”

Russini reported that Rodgers’ torn Achilles upended the Jets’ season and created a ton of internal tension. One source is reported as saying “it’s just such a f***ing mess.” Another expressed to Russini frustration that Rodgers seemed to be operating as an assistant general manager of the team.

Russini is based in New York, and hears from Jets fans day to day who question her reporting instead of their favorite team’s braintrust.

“Because I live in an area where there are Jets fans, like, at the eye doctor the guy who was helping me, he’s like, ‘Come on,'” Russini said. “People want me to say ‘All right, we dramatized it, it’s not really that bad, Aaron’s great, he’s kumbaya with everybody.’ When the reality is it’s a mess in New York. It’s really bad.”

Russini went on to explain that while she referenced 30 sources in the article, The Athletic’s editorial policy requires her to send a list of sources to her editors with every piece. So while Jets fans may not know who she spoke with, her editors do. Russini is not freewheeling her reporting.

And if anyone still refuses to believe what she writes, Russini believes they are most likely a lost cause.

[Pardon My Take on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.