Late Wednesday night, VAVEL USA soccer writer Drew Pells turned in a candidate for worst tweet of 2020, though it’s a category that seems destined to be filled with contenders.

Pells, covering an MLS return match between Orlando City SC and Inter Miami, chose to compare an injured Andres Reyes to George Floyd, while suggesting that Floyd’s death was blown out of proportion by the media.

That is obviously an absurd, offensive thing to say, and many in soccer and soccer media pointed that out to Pells in explicit fashion.

American national team player-turned broadcaster Maurice Edu got to the point, getting Pells on the record:

Pells indeed continued to tweet through it, and if you’re wondering when the shamelessly transparent grift shoe drops, congratulations, don’t worry, it’s coming!

VAVEL, to their credit, parted ways with Pells within hours of the tweet going up, a move that had to be one of the easier decisions anyone has made this week.

And here’s where the grift part comes in:

The good fight is presumably against punctuation.

So, here’s what we have: a “journalist” with less than 500 Twitter followers, working for a smaller outfit, decided to go into business for himself by either making plain his actual views on racism or by acting in bad faith in an effort to stir up controversy and attract the kind of following that either can’t or won’t tell the difference. It was honestly debatable whether this was worth doing as a post. Highlighting someone like Pells can just serve to help them; Pells doesn’t mind looking detestable to 99% of the world if the remaining 1% is a paying audience.

The other side of that is that it’s important to point out when people are doing this as early as possible, and it’s hard to be earlier than 435 Twitter followers. Deciding to intentionally be ridiculed by everyone for espousing objectively offensive thoughts and opinions, publicly losing a job, and trying to spin that into a cash grab might be the most 2020 thing for someone in media to do.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.