Scott Abraham and Commanders' QB Carson Wentz.

We sometimes see team pushback on particular media members or particular stories, but the specific way that happened with the Washington Commanders Friday was a little unusual. After a clip of an interview between ABC 7 (WJLA) DC’s Scott Abraham and Commanders’ quarterback Carson Wentz got a lot of Twitter attention, Commanders team president Jason Wright took to Twitter himself to condemn Abraham’s interview and claim he’s “made a living on childlike provocation”:

There are several things worth keeping in mind here. For one, this particular clip is only 1:07, and it’s two separate questions and answers cut together, one asking Wentz about inaccuracy in camp and if he feels the “consistently inconsistent” tag some have used for him is fair, the other asking if he feels this is his last chance to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The full interview here was 11 minutes; it’s viewable in its entirety on WJLA’s site. This is the most notable, and most controversial, part of the interview, but the whole interview wasn’t this confrontational.

Beyond that, it’s unusual to see a team president specifically blast a reporter on Twitter. Often, any sort of pushback to a piece happens behind the scenes, or comes from PR staffers. Having the team president specifically weigh in on an individual interview publicly, and throw a lot more invective out there than Abraham did (“pompous,” “unprofessional,” and “childlike mess” are much harsher criticisms than anything Abraham says) is certainly an interesting look, especially for a team that’s already drawn criticism for its repeated pushback on specific media outlets.  And it’s perhaps particularly bizarre to see Wright follow this up with a tweet of what he considers to be a better piece, from USA Today’s Mike Jones:

Honestly, Wright’s actions here look worse than Abraham’s. Neither of the questions Abraham asked there seems particularly over the top. Both Wentz’s performance in camp so far and his thoughts on if this is his last chance to prove he’s a NFL starter are valid subjects of discussion, and they’re subjects being brought up by others (including Jones, who now through no fault of his own has seen his reporting presented as “good” by the team president, not exactly what anyone covering a team wants). And it’s odd to see Wright say “Just be a journalist and follow standard practices” without specifying what practices he thinks Abraham didn’t follow. There absolutely have been some cases of media members specifically confronting players in ways that deserve some criticism, but this didn’t really seem to be one worth the response Wright gave. Granted, Wright claims this is part of a wider pattern from Abraham, which might explain why he went so far here, but the words he used seem to be more than this particular Abraham piece deserved.

It’s unclear why Wright felt the need to throw a bunch of names at Abraham’s work over this, and to also vaguely threaten his access. “Don’t expect special access” isn’t a full threat to pull a credential, but it isn’t a great look either. And Wright’s response brought Abraham’s interview even more attention, so this didn’t necessarily pay off well for him and the team.

[Yahoo Sports; photo from Scott Alexander on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.