Days after Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard attempted to shun the media, one of his teammates demonstrated support.
After Bernard botched a pivotal fake punt Sunday afternoon, he was hesitant to speak with reporters in the locker room, jumpstarting a testy exchange. As media members fanned the flames by brashly pushing back on Bernard’s reluctance, ESPN reporter Jenna Laine filmed the exchange and posted the now viral video on Twitter.
Wednesday night, after previously defending her actions, Laine apologized for her role in the awkward postgame exchange with Bernard. That apology, however, wasn’t enough to completely erase the damage that was done with Bernard’s teammates. Thursday morning, Laine asked Bucs cornerback Carlton Davis to comment on the Arizona Cardinals skill players ahead of their upcoming matchup this weekend, but he blatantly ignored the question and addressed the ESPN reporter’s recent spat with Bernard instead.
Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis ignored a question from ESPN reporter Jenna Laine to address the Giovanni Bernard incident.
“It’s a respect thing,” Davis said. “I respect you doing your job, you respect me doing my job.” pic.twitter.com/FeypYMfU7O
— Kinnu Singh (@ByKinnuSingh) December 22, 2022
“There was an incident with Gio Bernard and as a team, we just feel as if the people who are supposed to be on our side should be on our side,” Davis said. “Because it happened to him, we understand that it could happen to anyone of us so right now we just feel that it’s a sensitive subject to talk about when we do talk to you guys and how vulnerable we can be at times. I don’t want to shout anybody out, but it’s a respect thing. I respect you doing your job, you respect me doing my job.”
While Davis ignored Laine’s question, his discourse was measured and sensible, and it likely echoes what some of the other players in the locker room are feeling after witnessing reporters go at it with Bernard. Laine has since addressed the issue with Bernard directly, and her Wednesday night statement of regret came across as sincere, but there still appears to have been damage done. Players may follow Davis’ lead, respectfully choosing to be less cooperative with Laine and other media members as a way of displaying their distrust after Sunday’s incident.
[Kinnu Singh on Twitter]