Julian Edelman’s response to a question about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ whole Facebook Live fiasco sure raised some eyebrows.
Shannon Sharpe, for one, believes the New England Patriots wide receiver was hypocritical in comparing the organizations that will play in this Sunday’s AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium with a trip to Super Bowl LI on the line.
The whole thing started with Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown using Facebook Live in the Steelers’ locker room immediately following their divisional-round win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was captured in the video using a derogatory term to describe the Patriots, and while that alone led to a story that got blown out of proportion, things only escalated Monday when Edelman said “that’s how that team is run” while answering a question about the incident during a WEEI radio appearance.
Edelman’s response got back to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who returned fire Wednesday during a conference call with the New England media. It also was a topic of conversation Thursday on FS1’s “Undisputed,” with Sharpe taking exception to Edelman’s apparent jab toward the Steelers.
“Absolutely, he was out of line. It was unnecessary, because first of all, you shouldn’t be commenting on what goes on in someone else’s franchise,” Sharpe said. “Because here you are, you’re throwing stones when your entire house is made of glass. Now all of a sudden the New England Patriots want to be the moral authority on how a franchise should be run?”
Sharpe pointed toward Deflategate and Spygate as instances in which the Patriots weren’t exactly model citizens. He also noted that New England has employed several players with infamous backgrounds in recent years, including LeGarrette Blount, Michael Floyd, Donte Stallworth and, to a crazier extent, convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez.
Edelman since has clarified his comments, saying there was “no maliciousness about it” and that he has “nothing but respect for the Steelers.” The media latched onto Edelman’s initial response, though, and it’s creating additional drama ahead of Championship Weekend.