In football, a left tackle protects a quarterback’s blindside. Sandra Bullock explained this in the opening of the movie Blindside, the story of Michael Oher, a young man who became a left tackle at Ole Miss and in the NFL.
Another Ole Miss left tackle, Laremy Tunsil, was himself blindsided last week. Just minutes before the NFL draft began, on his own Twitter account, a video was posted showing him smoking via a bong hooked up to a gas mask. The presumption is he was smoking weed.
Soon after, on his own Instagram account, screen shots were posted that purported to show text messages from Tunsil to an Ole Miss coach in which Tunsil asked for money.
Here’s How It (Might’ve) Happened
Who did it? As a projected high (no pun intended) draft pick, Tunsil had already hired and fired agents, lawyers and other advisors. It is now believed one of those dismissed (and disgruntled) individuals did the deed.
After these social posts, the Ravens, who drafted Oher in the first round in 2009, chose not to select Tunsil with the sixth overall pick. The Giants, picking tenth and needing offensive line help, also passed, due to the posts. The Dolphins nabbed Tunsil with the 13th overall pick.
Some Takeaways From The Incident
- Always know who has access to your social media account passwords. If someone other than you is posting on your behalf or that of your organization, pay attention to what they are posting.
- Change passwords frequently.
- If you leave your phone unattended, use a lockout code to prevent unauthorized access.
- Young people in college are likely to smoke weed and/or drink.
- People with extraordinary talent and/or extreme physical attributes can get away with certain misbehavior.
- Despite dropping down in the draft, Tunsil is still a first round pick who is likely to earn tens of millions during his NFL career.
- Of all the players taken in all the rounds, he is the one who has received the most attention, even more that the top pick. Yes, much of that attention was dubious (doobie-ous?), but it all adds up to name recognition.
- Don’t blame this episode on “social media,” like ESPN’s Jon Gruden who said, “This whole social media scene makes me sick!” Blame it on the human (or humans) who did it.