Greg Jennings reacts to Jason Witten’s claim that Twitter is ‘poison’ for young athletes

Video Details

Greg Jennings and TJ Houshmandzadeh join Jason Whitlock and Bucky Brooks to discuss Jason Witten's claim that Twitter has a negative effect on young athletes.

- Guys, let's start with Jason Witten's point. Twitter has a negative impact on NFL locker rooms and athletes, in general. Agree or disagree, Greg?

- I agree to a extent. I definitely believe that you can be too heavily influenced by your mentions, negatively, by looking at them and making responses that are unheralded or you shouldn't engage in. But when I look at Twitter as a whole, and I look at athletes and the platform that it provides for us, it is a resource. It is definitely that. It is something that--

It gives us a voice that we've never had. You think about any other arena, corporate America, we've never really had a voice. And you talk about black Twitter and the black athletes, like, that is the most important--

- I want to stick to--

- Witten.

- --Witten's point.

- Got you.

- We'll get there in a second. But for athletes, this is the number one platform that we have. Teams try to regulate what we say, how we say it, the message that's conveyed. But when it comes to who you are as a person and a brand, this is your only platform to be who you are to convey a message--

- So Joe Montana had no platform?

- I'm not saying he didn't. But he didn't have Twitter. He didn't have social media.

- That might have been a good thing, Greg, with Witten's point.

- For them.

- But Joe Montana's a quarterback. So, I mean, it's different.

- Mean Joe Green didn't have a platform?

- It's the guys that are trying to get a foothold in the league, guys that not too many people know about. The Tom Bradys' the Aaron Rodgers', those type of guys, they don't need Twitter. Everybody's going to know who they are. They can push their story out there.

It's the guys that-- Twitter-- The whole social media thing was just getting started towards the end of my career. I'm not on Twitter. I just got on social media last year because Chad convinced me to do it. And my kids started me an Instagram page.

I'm not on Twitter. So I don't know how that works. But nobody wants to hear criticism from anybody else about themselves.

And so, naturally, guys are going to fight back and say some back. Right, wrong, or indifferent, that's just human nature. We're going to defend ourselves when somebody says something negative, especially if they're wrong.

Or if they are right, it just pisses you off. You're, like, bro you don't even know me. Like, chill out.

Is it bad? It's what you said. It's good in some cases. But in a lot of cases, it's really bad because guys have to know how to control their emotions and what to say, what to type out, and what not.

Read it out. Ah, should I hit send. If you have to think about it, maybe you shouldn't.

- I think the big thing is today's athlete has now grown up in the social media age. You coach high school. I coach high school ball. I'm sure you've been around kids.

Social media drives everything. When Jason Witten talked about guys looking at their Twitter at half time, Instagram-- I've been coaching guys. And you have to get them to put the phone down. They won't listen to what coaches are saying because they're so worried about what is going on in the social media sphere.

I believe it has been detrimental because it has created a distraction. An un-- It's prevented people from really being able to lock in and maximize who they can be as players.



- Just because you're so distracted by--

- Like, no.

- I'm engaging in Twitter beefs--

- But that doesn't take--

- --with NFL players about stuff that it really shouldn't be a concern.


- Maybe I'm--

- T.J., you coach as well.

- Yeah.

- Are You telling me you're not engaging with kids who cannot lift their head up and actually engage with you?

- As far as it being a distraction, it--

JASON WHITLOCK: It's not a distraction. It's limiting people's engagement with the people that actually care about them and have their best interest. Kids are like this constantly.

- If we go to Whitten's comment, this is what I would have done. He said I seen guys at halftime checking and responding to Twitter. Me, personally, we were in a locker room. I felt that I could talk to the black guys and the white guys on every team I played on because I hung out with both of them. And they respected me.

If I saw that when Jason Witten saw it, immediately, I'd been, like, bro, get off the phone immediately. And then the next day I would said, "Coach, I want to have this mean for five minutes before any coach comes in a meeting room." And I would have addressed it. I don't know if he did that or he didn't.

- I'm sure he's done--

- But he should have addressed it. If he did not.

- I'm sure he has. But let's don't-- Greg, I mean, seriously, if you're dealing with young kids-- And I do. I'm very involved with my school and my college. And the kids are like this constantly. It's hard to communicate with them.

- They are because of your point, Bucky. This is the society that they've grown up in. This is their environment.

BUCKY BROOKS: It's all they know.

JASON WHITLOCK: This is not good.

- It's-- I'm not saying it's good. But I'm not-- I'm not ready to say it's bad either because it-- What you get on social platforms is real good information and real bad information--


- --people willing to share--

- Can't distinguish the two.

- You-- Sometimes you can't. It depends on the person. That's the problem. It depends on the person.

And going to the locker room, I guarantee if Jason Witten had seen a player who was contributing, looking at they phone, that-- Now that's a whole different thing. When you see a guy who, he's just there.

JASON WHITLOCK: Do you think he's talking about guys on special teams?

- I don't know. I'm not going to be--

JASON WHITLOCK: I mean, let's think this through. Are you not watch--

- Because I've seen it in the locker room as well.

- Did you not see--

- It doesn't matter who it is.

- I understand. Did we not see Antonio Brown, one of the best players in the league, carrying Facebook Live into the locker room?


- And we're going to sit here and pretend like he's talking about a special teams player.

T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH: But somebody should have said something. I would have.

- People have--

- I would have.

- I'm sure somebody did. That was after the game. I'm not saying it-- I'm not condoning it. But-- That-- I guarantee--

- We got to--

- --that wouldn't happen at halftime.

- I underst--

GREG JENNINGS: The Facebook Live at halftime?

- The man just said it. The man just said that social--

- I think it's an issue. And I think if we obviously look at our kids I got a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old. My 14-year-old, I have a tough time getting him to look at me eye to eye when I'm talking to him. Their nose are in the phone. They're always talking. They can't communicate.

We talk about coaching high school guys. I can't get guys to talk on the field. But I bet they could text their teammate. And so it has retarded their ability to be able to communicate with one another, to have real conversations. It has been a huge distraction.

T.J. HOUSHMANDZADEH: I tell the kids all the time. Like, we have-- We coa-- I coach high school football. And let the same guy mess up two or three times on the same play. I get them all together. And I say just do me a favor. I know you're going to go home and be on social media for two hours. Can you just take 15 minutes of your time to study the playbook, please?